Thursday, May 1, 2014

Film Review: Sleepless Night (2011)

Sleepless Night (Review)
France/2011
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...Sleepless Night will deliver on your expectations tenfold."

Vincent (Tomer Sisley), a seemingly corrupt police detective, robs a pair of drug couriers. Unfortunately, he was made and Marciano, a nightclub owner and drug dealer, wants his drugs back...

Sleepless Night continues as Vincent is forced to return the drugs to Marciano in order to keep his son safe. So, he goes to Marciano's large nightclub, but is followed by Vignali (Lizzie Brocheré), an ambition young cop looking to fish out the corrupt officers in her unit. As Vincent closes the deal, the drugs turn up missing (how do you "turn up" if you're missing?), and Vincent is caught between some vicious gangsters and the cops trying to catch him. The rest of the film really consist of Vincent dodging or fighting his pursuers, and trying to keep his son safe. There are a few twists and turns -- some predictable -- and plenty of action. The ending dragged a bit but was a fitting conclusion -- some of the characters actions were odd, though.

If you're looking for action and thrills, Sleepless Night will deliver on your expectations tenfold. It starts of with an thrilling robbery, and continues with pure tension and thrills at a huge, multilayered nightclub -- filled with a dance floor, a restaurant, a pool hall, and so much more. Tense confrontations with gangsters, fights with fellow officers, and exhilarating chases dominate the film. Also, it's all so consistent; the pacing is ferocious, making this film the perfect time-killer. But, not all is well. I did feel like the plot contrivances were too convenient, in this case. For example, Vignali decides to tail Vincent on her own initiative -- without being told or ordered -- and ends up causing this sleepless night. Furthermore, there are several "oh, so convenient" moments that push the story forward. Although they lead to some brilliant moments, the plot contrivances themselves seem lazy. Oh, and Vignali is part of the ending's problems; she's one of the most incompetent police officers written.

Tomer Sisley is fantastic; his performance is really great, there is a strong sense of realism to his acting. Lizzie Brocheré, despite playing a plot contrivance, plays the character well; she looks kinda like an Olsen, particularly Elizabeth, too. The rest of the cast is great. The fight choreography, although the fighting is limited, is fantastic -- the kitchen fight is definitely an instant favorite. The music doesn't take center stage, since it's based in a nightclub you obviously hear a lot of club music, but it works. The cinematography is great, but the camerawork is really the standout; the creative camerawork gives this film an edge of the action, and it gives it a sense of personality. Frederic Jardin creates a tense, suspenseful, and thrilling action flick -- he also masterfully paces and balances the film to create a consistent and thoroughly entertaining experience.

Overall, Sleepless Night is a great action film. The story is simple yet effective, the action is top-notch, and the performances are great. From a technical standpoint, it'll be difficult to find many better action films. However, in my opinion, the plot contrivances came off as lazy and were detrimental to the rest of the story.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood.

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