Sleepless

 

            Vincent (Jamie Foxx) is an undercover cop who has been working one case for two years.  During that time, his wife has left him and his teenage son resents his absences and no-shows, so he's paid a high price with his family life, but he's determined that he's close to not only busting the drug ring, but to finding out who the dirty cop is that feeds information to the bad guys.

            The trouble is, there's more than one set of bad guys.  Vincent's partner might be one of the crooked cops, so he can't be relied upon.  Vincent gets himself into a drug deal in order to see who the players are, but it gets violent, and now Internal Affairs is suspicious, especially one of their agents, played by Michelle Monaghan, whose bust went bad recently because somebody leaked the information beforehand.

            Vincent thinks he can still mediate the drug deal, involving a slimy casino chief, played by Durmot Mulroney.  But the casino guy is in league with a wanna-be gangster, played by Scoot McNairy, who's trying to impress his Mob Boss father by getting something done on his own.  Except it's not getting done.  So now Vincent's son is kidnapped until Vincent comes up with the missing drugs, and Vincent's got both the cops and the mobsters on his tail, and he still doesn't know who the bad cops are.  He just has to depend on his own resourcefulness.

            It might have worked better, had Foxx's character been a little more consistent with the stomach wound (sometimes he's couldn't make it down the stairs, other times he's locked in mortal combat with seemingly no movement restriction).  It might have worked better, had it been a little clearer why Foxx's character had personal possession of the drugs, and why he chose to hold some of it back when it could jeapordize his son's well-being.  But there were also some parts that worked well:  the chase scenes, and the brawl in the kitchen with pans and flour and trays flying.  There's even a training-exercise-type skirmish between Foxx and Monaghan, who are supposed to be on the same side, but have suspicions that they're not. 

            Well, after all the gutter language, street violence, and drug running, you would think that happily ever after is not where we're headed, but mere survival is a victory here.  Yes, it's January, and the movie releases take a notable dip in quality after the Oscar hopefuls of December.  Yet, “Sleepless,” a re-make of a 2011 French film, manages to deliver some adrenalin rushes which are surprisingly engaging, as long as you don't think too much about the plot holes.  We're even set up for a sequel.

 

Questions for Discussion:

1)                  The laws are different in Nevada than in other States regarding prostituion, and State laws now vary regarding marijuana.  Should the laws be different for other activities that are illicit in most States?

2)                  When have you suspected a snitch among your co-workers?  Were your suspicions justified?

3)                  When have your job responsibilities taken a toll on your family life?  Was it worth it?

 

Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, DFW Film Critics Association