‘Sleepless’ is an uninspired caper set in an unrecognizable Vegas

More than 40 million people visit Las Vegas every year.

I’m guessing Andrea Berloff isn’t one of them.

The “Straight Outta Compton” co-writer adapted the French thriller “Nuit blanche” into “Sleepless,” an action vehicle for Jamie Foxx, and set it in Vegas. Or, rather, “Vegas,” a nearly unrecognizable city, re-created in Atlanta, where there are never any cars on the streets, people on the sidewalks or anyone anywhere who isn’t directly involved in the action of a scene.

In “Sleepless’ ” Vegas, the flashy manager (Dermot Mulroney) of the Luxus — yes, Luxus — casino has a penthouse office overlooking the Strip with a Bond-villain-style secret stairwell leading to the parking garage.

 

A local drug kingpin (Scoot McNairy) carrying a small arsenal can spend 15 minutes or so indiscriminately shooting up that parking garage with an assault rifle without attracting a lick of attention. Honestly, not a single Luxus customer appears in that garage despite its being filled with cars.

And it’s a Vegas where that drug dealer’s family not only owns the “Las Vegas Police Department” — “This city is crawling with dirty cops,” Internal Affairs investigator Jen Bryant (Michelle Monaghan) declares — but the DEA as well.

But, hey, at least Berloff got one thing right: The Luxus charges its customers to park on the Strip.

“Sleepless” opens with Las Vegas cop Vincent Downs (Foxx) and his partner (Tip “T.I.” Harris) ripping off 25 kilos of coke and then placing themselves in charge of the investigation, which raises Bryant’s suspicions.

Later that day, after Downs picks up his estranged 16-year-old son, Tom (Octavius J. Johnson), from his ex-wife (Gabrielle Union), masked goons snatch Tom and stab Downs in broad daylight. Then Downs gets a phone call. All he has to do is return the drugs to Stan Rubino (Mulroney) and he’ll get his son back.

It seems the scary casino manager, who buys his coke in bulk for the Luxus’ clientele, had promised the drugs to the even scarier kingpin who, in turn, promised them to his still scarier gangster father, who had promised them to some Canadians who are no doubt terrifying — or at least as terrifying as Canadians get.

Because that’s exactly how the manager of a megaresort — even one with as stupid a name as the Luxus — would roll.

Bryant, and eventually her partner (character actor extraordinaire David Harbour), complicate things by trailing Downs’ every move. Downs also must contend with increasingly suspicious calls from his ex, wanting to know why her son isn’t home. And Downs has to repeatedly beat on people — pretty much anyone he comes into contact with — in a variety of uninspired ways. As a result, Foxx spends more time bleeding and grimacing in stairwells than actually acting.

And, really, what’s the point of assembling such a talented cast if you’re never really going to let them act? I adore Monaghan in a way that’s surely unhealthy, but even she couldn’t do much with the by-the-numbers script.

The first clue that “Sleepless” would be listless was its January release date. The second, which really set off alarm bells, was that it wasn’t screened for critics. I had to waste money on it just like everyone else.

“Sleepless,” the American debut for Swiss director Baran bo Odar, is a claustrophobic affair — and not in a fun, “Die Hard” way. Some of the painfully few exterior scenes were shot here, but at least 90 percent of the movie takes place inside the Luxus, which was digitally inserted somewhere in the middle of City Center

“Now, I’m tired of running around this (expletive) casino,” McNairy’s drug lord snarls at one point.

I felt his pain. Because I was tired of watching him running around that (expletive) casino.

Contact Christopher Lawrence at clawrence@reviewjournal.com. On Twitter: @life_onthecouch.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like