What a way to kick-off 2017. “Sleepless”, which should’ve been called “Senseless”, is easily one of the most messed-up movies I’ve seen in a long time.This is a remake of the 2011 French film “Sleepless Night”. Jamie Foxx (who we haven’t seen onscreen since 2014 “Annie” reboot) plays Vincent, a Las Vegas cop. But is he Good Cop or Bad Cop? He and partner Sean (rapper T.I.) are deep into a case involving the Vegas drug underworld. When a drop goes badly and Vincent’s teenage son gets kidnapped, Vincent must do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, to get him back.
Michelle Monaghan plays Jennifer, an Internal Affairs officer who suspects that Vincent is dirty - and why not? According to this script about half of the Vegas police force is. Vincent’s also a terrible husband and father. Gabrielle Union plays his ex. But he can win her back if he saves their son and closes the case, rounding-up all the bad guys, including the evil owner of the fictional Luxus Casino & Resort, played by Dermot Mulroney. Most of the action takes place inside the Casino.
“Sleepless” is a “Taken” knockoff, with even more plot holes and mindless story elements. Nothing that takes place throughout the thankfully-short 90-minutes feels authentic - from the acting to the situations. Vincent gets stabbed early in the film and bleeds profusely for the rest of the day - but it hardly slows him down, and doesn’t stop him from taking part in at least a half-dozen fight scenes all over the hotel: in the kitchen, the disco and the spa. There’s a ridiculous scene at a baseball stadium, several laughable chases, including one involving a red sports car that just “happens” to be on display in the middle of the casino. And the “somebody stole my 25 kilos of cocaine” premise that drives the entire movie is just so dated, “Sleepless” feels like it should have been set in the 1980’s.
For Swiss director Baran bo Odar, making his American film debut - this is a Swiss Miss. And if Foxx finds himself in a few more of these he could become the next Nicolas Cage.
January is traditionally a time when studios bury their mistakes. The biggest mistake Open Road made with “Sleepless” was not - literally - burying every print BEFORE the movie had a chance to reach theaters.