07th Jan2015

‘Sleepless Night’ Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Tomer Sisley, Serge Riaboukine, Julien Boisselier, Joey Starr, Laurent Stocker, Birol Ünel, Lizzie Brocheré, Samy Seghir, Dominique Bettenfeld, Adel Bencherif, Catalina Denis, Pom Klementieff, Vincent Bersoulle, Olivier Massart | Written by Frédéric Jardin, Nicolas Saada, Olivier Douyère | Directed by Frédéric Jardin


A cop’s secret life is threatened to be exposed when he and his partner are seen stealing drugs from a powerful drug dealer. When his son is kidnapped and the drug dealer demands the return of what was stolen, the cop must figure out how to get the drugs into the right hands, protect his son and keep his secret from the other police officers who are on his tail. It looks as if it is going to be a long, sleepless night.

Sleepless Night shows us that French people can be badass too. Others have compared this film to Die Hard, which is understandable as there are many similarities. It takes place, for the majority, in one building for example. A very large and confusing building, where our main hero Vincent (Tomer Sisley) is charging around being chased or chasing a variety of different people for different reasons. However, unlike Die Hard and similar films, this film doesn’t go over the top in the action. I’m not saying over the top action is a bad thing, but the action in Sleepless Night seems a lot more realistic and brutal. I was definitely wincing as Vincent and a guy fought for dominance in a kitchen in what seemed a very long and very brutal attack and they made a right old mess of the place too.

Also, there is less action in this film than you would expect. It definitely builds up to it, increasing the tension as Vincent nearly gets discovered or something equally unlucky goes wrong. This guy is very, very unlucky. However, this build up does seem to make the film feel a lot slower at the beginning than it possibly should have. Now, obviously I am not saying it should be shooty, runny, explosive fighty action all the time. No, there needs to be time to build up back story and character and all the other parts which make a film good, but it did seem to take a while to get going. Once it did get going though, I was definitely pulled in. Even with scary subtitles, I was hooked in very well from the middle to the climax of the story.

It does get a little ridiculous as we visit the same rooms again and again, particularly the kitchen, and extras just seem to stare goggle-eyed as crazy action sequences happen around them between main characters. Sometimes it does seem a little strange that none of them seem to get involved, except for when it is a convenient plot device of course, but this is a minor issue as you will probably be too busy staring goggle-eyed at the action yourself.

Overall, Sleepless Night is a decent action film which definitely leans more towards the realistic than the over-the-top. A bit slow to start with, but once the tension and action begin to ramp up that will all be forgotten in what turns out to be a very exciting film.

Sleepless Night is released on DVD and VOD on January 12th, courtesy of Icon.


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