Tonight I had the chance to go and see an ‘Unlimited’ screening of Jamie Foxx’s new movie, Sleepless. I say new, it seems as though this was actually released in the US back in January. I thought the fact Cineworld were showing this as an ‘Unlimited’ movie that is was an early screening, but now I’m not actually too sure?
I was really looking forward to this film – I hadn’t really seen a full trailer, but from what I had seen it looked like it was going to be a fun one to watch, plus I do usually like Jamie Foxx films. However, my spirits were dampened a bit when I accidentally saw headline reviews, and they were pretty terrible (I usually actually try and stay away from reviews all together before seeing a film so nothing is spoiled and I go in with a clean mind about the film). Nevertheless, at the end of the day reviews are only someone’s opinion, so I still went in with hopes I would disagree.
But, this film was only okay. It wasn’t terrible, but then it wasn’t all that great. Sleepless doesn’t really do anything that we haven’t seen before in a dirty cop film. All the ingredients are there – a drug deal gone bad, angry drug dealer, kid taken as a hostage, doubt over who can be trusted.
Although there a number of twist and turns, everything is all very predictable, and at times the film does give us a couple of too obvious clues as to what is going on. I found it quite difficult to real root for any of the characters, as the film seemed a bit confused about this itself. But, the film chugs along at a reasonable and very angry pace. Everything in this film is angry, all the characters seem angry the whole time, the soundtrack is angry, even the way the film is lit makes it look angry. While I’m mentioning the soundtrack, I actually thought this area was pretty weak. The film was trying hard to build suspense, but never quite hit
As is often the problem with mediocre films, everything just seems a bit too convenient. The character of Jamie Foxx’s ex seems to have been cast as a nurse just so she can show up at the right time when shots have been fired. And also happens to know how to effectively neutralise drug lords henchman? There are a few occasions as well where the film seems to have forgotten they have included things. For example, at time Jamie Foxx’s character can hardly move because of a stabbing, but later he seems absolutely fine, only for it to kick back into pain a few scenes later. And a hand that must be shattered by a fire extinguisher, also seems to be forgotten about, almost immediately.
Sleepless has a couple of big stars in there, in Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan, it is just a shame we don’t get to see the best of them, as in previous outings I’ve really enjoyed them. I was also quite pleased to see David Harbour, as I thought he was great in The Newsroom series, despite only being a supporting role. Unfortunately, Sleepless doesn’t really get the best out of any of its stars, and this won’t be going down as one of their highlights.
One thing I will say for the film, is that I think it actually ends pretty well. Not that it is an amazing finale, but where a lot of films tie things up with a nice bow and everything has worked out for the best, Sleepless makes us think it is doing this, but then as the curtain closes, it tells us that although the story has finished for us, this isn’t the end for these characters who still have consequences to deal with. A nice touch you don’t see too often – unless it is setting up for a sequel, which I really hope isn’t the case!
If this does have a wider UK release in cinemas, it probably isn’t worth your time. A shame, as i do usually like Jamie Foxx.
An average 5/10