Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Scott McNairy and T.I.

Rated: R for strong violence and language throughout.
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: January 13, 2017 Released by: Open Road Films

Jamie Foxx as Vincent Downs a Vegas police detective is not served well by a clumsy screen play by Andrea Berloff.  

The story from a French film Nuit Blanche finds Downs shot, beaten, in a panic when his son (T.I.) is captured for ransom by the underworld, finds his wife with an engagement ring from her new boyfriend and holding stolen drugs which he confiscated from the wrong drug dealers.  All of this circles around and around using similar situations over and over again by placing Downs in illogical situations. 

The film opens in the middle of a shoot out involving Downs and his partner who kill a number of dealers and take control of a bag of drugs will a value of millions of dollars.  As the battle ends we are surprised to find that he is a Los Vegas police detective.  With a premise from the mouth of an internal investigator officer (Michelle Monaghan) that significant corruption exists in the LV police system we quickly learn that Downs is a part of the corruption.  His debriefing with her leads her to believe he is part of the corruption.  

The filming quickly heads toward a Vegas hotel casino when Downs' son is kidnapped by the gangsters who he has stolen the drugs from.  The deal he quickly arranges with corrupt casino leader (Dermot Mulroney) is to return the drugs to free his son.  

In the best segment of the story, Monaghan follows Foxx to the casino as he hides a portion of the drugs to secure that his son is freed before all the bounty is returned to the nasty casino leader.  As Foxx returns a portion of the drugs and arranges for the release of his son, she discovers his hiding place and removes the drugs to a new hiding place.  At that point Foxx has lost control of what he needs to free his son.  

From there on the film becomes a battle of fire fights all over the hotel.  Foxx is wounded but he is able in some scenes to fight off bouncers but in others usually on a staircase he falls immobilized from his wounds.  It's all to simple to accept.  The gun battles with numerous levels of weapons take place all over the large casino even on the dance floor where hundreds of customers are dancing.  Part of the weak script allows the son to be captured, released and recaptured, and later he is able to escape on his own and fight with his father to stay free.  

No one can be trusted and the twists could have been woven into an interesting story, but the screen play simply works its way into bloody fights, beatings and no win situations for Mulroney, Foxx and the big drug boss played by Scoot McNairy.  Gabrielle Union as the poor wife who just doesn't understand her husband is also drawn into the gun battles at the hotel. What a mess.  

With little imagination Sleepless is enough to put us to sleep.  

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Gerry Matt Claudette Jennifer Audralee  Avg. 
Sleepless  C-      D                     D+ 

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