Tire­some Foxx no hero cop

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Ticket -

Swiss di­rec­tor Baran bo Odar’s first main­stream flick sees the 39-year-old re­make the 2010 French film of the same name.

Hav­ing never seen the orig­i­nal, I can­not state with any fact whether this is an im­prove­ment – al­though given how dis­tinctly av­er­age bo Odar’s ef­fort is, it’s hard to en­vis­age it be­ing a su­pe­rior up­grade.

Jamie Foxx is on lead­ing man du­ties as Las Ve­gas-based cop Vin­cent, whose con­nec­tion to the crim­i­nal un­der­world sees his son Thomas (Oc­tavius J. John­son) kid­napped, lead­ing to a fran­tic show­down with gun-tot­ing drugdeal­ers.

Vin­cent could have pro­vided Foxx with one of his best roles in years but the for­mer Os­car win­ner sleep­walks his way through the por­trayal of a char­ac­ter blessed with more shades of gray than a cer­tain S&M-lov­ing busi­ness­man.

Fol­low­ing on from a re­cent out­put that in­cludes The Amaz­ing Spi­der-Man 2 and An­nie, it’s worth ask­ing if Foxx’s heart is still in this act­ing lark.

An­drea Berloff ’s (Straight Outta Comp­ton) screen­play does its best to fur­nish Vin­cent with an in­ter­est­ing back story, but Foxx only re­ally comes to life when the bul­lets and fists start fly­ing.

Argo’s Scoot McNairy – an­other ac­tor on a bit of a down­ward slope – makes for one of the least con­vinc­ing drug barons you’ll ever see; it takes a lot more than slicked back hair to send shiv­ers down an au­di­ence’s spine.

One-time rom-com favourite Der­mot Mul­roney (Ru­bino) fares slightly bet­ter on the dark side of the fence as a slimy en­tre­pre­neur with ties to the mob.

Best act­ing hon­ours, how­ever, go to Michelle Mon­aghan (Bryant) who more than holds her own in this male-heavy en­vi­ron­ment as a tough, prin­ci­pled In­ter­nal Af­fairs of­fi­cer out for jus­tice.

But even those who haven’t seen the French orig­i­nal will feel a se­ri­ous case of deja-vu when sit­ting through Sleepless; think of vir­tu­ally any cop movie and chances are there will be a scene or sit­u­a­tion lifted from it here.

That’s not to say there aren’t sur­prises along the way as Berloff keeps us on our toes and ques­tion­ing cer­tain char­ac­ters’ true mo­ti­va­tions right up un­til the fi­nal reel.

Bo Odar also proves to be adept at mak­ing us wince as his fre­netic cam­er­a­work and him turn­ing the noise lev­els up to 11 de­liver dan­ger and nasty wounds by the bucket-load.

It’s just un­for­tu­nate that the cen­tral sto­ry­line fails to get pulses rac­ing as by the time Vin­cent starts put­ting all the pieces to­gether, you’ll be wish­ing you’d taken a dif­fer­ent jig­saw out of its box.

Dis­ap­point­ing, clichéd and with a flawed hero in­ca­pable of root­ing for, Sleepless suf­fers in com­par­i­son to even some of the genre’s more medi­ocre en­tries.

It may keep you awake dur­ing a brisk 95-minute run­ning time, but the stuff of dreams? Far from it.

Tak­ing aimJamie Foxx is put through the ringer in Sleepless

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