"Sleepless" stars Jamie Foxx as an undercover police officer who gets involved with a mob boss as well as a corrupt police force. He ends up stealing a stash of cocaine belonging to a mobster and in turn his son is kidnapped, and now the only way for him to get his son back is to return the drugs to the mob.
I originally had no plans whatsoever to see this movie. I barely even knew anything about it other than Jamie Foxx apparently played a cop. That was the basic gist of what I got out of this movie beforehand, and I really wasn't expecting much out of it. But as it would turn out, I ended up seeing this movie at the very last minute and in turn got a fairly watchable action flick. Is it necessarily a good film? No, but from what I was expecting, it really wasn't what I would call bad.
A positive towards this movie is that I really like all of the actors involved. Jamie Foxx plays the standard cop who has his own personal family issues, but he was still serviceable in the role, as is Michelle Monaghan as an Internal Affairs investigator. Her character isn't very fleshed out unfortunately, but for what she had to work with, Monaghan was still giving a decent performance, and that ultimately describes a lot of actors in this movie. The characters aren't great, but the performances are genuine, particularly from Scoot McNairy who plays the son of a notorious mob boss. Honestly speaking, with a movie like this, all I could really ask for is for the actors to at least put in some effort, and they did that.
This movie also has some action scenes that are competently filmed. With a virtually unknown movie like this which has all of the potential to be a cheap "Taken" ripoff, there are action sequences that are actually better choreographed and more well filmed than most of the action scenes in the sequels to "Taken". There are a couple of fight scenes that are crisp and easy to follow, and the fights actually feel gritty and real. Needless to say, there are parts in this movie where you actually see potential for it to be a genuinely good thriller, though it does have its fair share of drawbacks.
As much as I liked some of the action scenes, there are some moments in the movie where there seem to be some over-the-top leaps in logic that take away from the gritty tone. The end scene of this movie alone is where things start to get WAY out there, starting off with a car chase that feels out of place and ending with what felt like a video game boss in Scoot McNairy's character. As a matter of fact, the movie as a whole has weird moments like that, one of them being a torture scene that takes place right smack in the middle of an empty baseball field. Why that particular area? Beats the hell out of me, I guess the writers just really wanted the scene to stand out, and it more or less did.
But the biggest fault is by far the story itself. It's a simple premise of Jamie Foxx trying to get his son back from mobsters while also dealing with dirty cops and it's pretty bare bones in that regard. It follows a straightforward and cliched storyline with no new elements to the genre. If anything, it's actually quite predictable with how certain characters are revealed to be traitors in the end, which just goes to show that some fairly entertaining action scenes can't save a recycled script.
In the end, "Sleepless" is just alright. It's quite well filmed in some regards, but the writing is what really sinks the ship. But the silver lining in all of it is that it was much better than a January release deserves to be, especially given the genre and plot. Like I already said, this movie isn't very good, but it's also not bad, and for a movie to come out this early in the year and NOT completely suck is a minor miracle itself.