Director: Baran bo Odar
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney
Release Date: April 18, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Undercover police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) thrives in the high stakes web of corrupt cops and the mob-controlled casino underground of Las Vegas. But when a heist goes wrong and a crew of homicidal gangsters kidnaps Downs’ teenage son, Downs must evade an internal affairs investigation, rescue his son, and bring the kidnappers to justice all in one pulse-pounding, action-packed sleepless night.
‘Sleepless’ takes viewers into the dark and dangerous world of undercover police officer Vincent Downs (Foxx) and follows him and other key individuals through one never-ending night and a dangerous game of cat and mouse throughout a Las Vegas casino. After a heist gone terribly wrong, Downs soon discovers the man he stole from wasn’t who he believed and when he is attacked on the open road, stabbed and his son taken from his car, Downs soon finds himself forced to return the stolen merchandise in exchange for his son. Upon arriving to do just that, an unfortunate sequence of events and individuals including crime bosses, cops and even Internal Affairs agents quickly evolves into a deadly game of cat and mouse building throughout a popular casino with forces on every end, and with the stakes notably high for everyone involved, things are certain to get even bloodier before this sleepless night is over.
Directed by Baran bo Odar (The Silence, Who Am I) from a screenplay written by Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton, Blood Father) which was based upon the film “Nuit blanche” respectively, Baran bo Odar does a solid job at the helm of ‘Sleepless’ guiding the tense and consistently active tale along without much trouble. The film also owes a good chunk of the credit to the cast which features a number of talented individuals and includes Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained), Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone), Dermot Mulroney (TV’s Shameless), David Harbour (TV’s Stranger Things), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Gabrielle Union (Bad Boys II), Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris (TV’s House of Lies) and more, nearly all delivering highly capable performances in each of their respective roles and as a result allowing the tension and believability to work fairly well throughout.
‘Sleepless’ is a tense, gritty, thrilling and constantly enjoyable ride into the darker aspects of Las Vegas and the colorful characters that populate it; often effortlessly blending in amidst the consistent chaos of the always active city. Keeping the majority of the story centered to one casino helps to offer a fun way of allowing these drastically different characters all with varying intentions and purposes to continually one up and slip past each other, evolving into a truly complex and intensely enjoyable game of cat and mouse with various individuals always in play, and never holding back when it comes to the action and gritty aspects within which helps to retain a dark and somewhat bleak tone which fits perfectly. Unfortunately, what helps the film also in some ways detracts from it, and the continued jumping between groups, characters and areas within the casino setting also makes for a plot that can often become jumbled, while also seeming to struggle in its attempts to equally cover the viewpoints of so many individuals and balance each with the other. Capably guided by director Baran bo Odar and further complimented by a stellar cast that includes Jamie Foxx, Dermot Mulroney and Michelle Monoghan among others. It may not be a perfect film and is certainly restrained from a few flaws, yet I would still urge fans of capably constructed and often quite brutal action thrillers and fans of the solid cast to try and make a point of giving ‘Sleepless’ a whirl when you have the opportunity to do so; it’s a tense, enjoyable and often uncompromising thriller that should have no trouble keeping you glued to the screen for the majority of its duration.
Overall, ‘Sleepless’ is a dark, intense and often notably violent game of cat and mouse involving varying individuals of differing moral beliefs, each with their own agenda and gradually coming face to face with each other as they all spend the night hunting throughout a Las Vegas casino. It’s brutal, relatively well constructed and capably guided by director Baran bo Odar and further boosted by a talented cast led by Jamie Foxx. Yet it also struggles in attempting to find a way of jumping between so many characters and allowing each adequate screen time which results in a somewhat jumbled storyline. Albeit imperfect, ‘Sleepless’ still offers no shortage of tense, violent fun and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who enjoys the lead cast or appreciates brutal and down to earth thrillers with no shortage of tension and twists, even if many of those twists may be far from surprising.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Sleepless’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks quite outstanding as a whole and provides a sharp, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults to be found within. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit and fast paced sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen becoming negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Universal that should have no trouble pleasing the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, aggressive and fairly clean audio presentation throughout. Frequently taking advantage of all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer within the hard, bass-heavy score, while also sending vehicle activity, bullets, crowd chatter and more zooming throughout the various speakers with regularity, and never causing any dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way; yet the dialogue does occasionally seem to maintain a lower volume than the other auditory elements on this disc, therefore a slight volume increase from the normal can’t hurt. Overall, this is a pretty solid and active 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that compliments the film’s tone and tension splendidly.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Sleepless’ includes a couple of brief extras. Included on the release are a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 5 minutes in length combined), and a behind the scenes Featurette ‘One Long Night: The Making of Sleepless’ (running approximately 4 minutes) which includes some interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and more.