In it Foxx plays Nevada PD Detective Vincent Downs, a cop so dirty his colleagues feel the need to shower after conversations with him; you know the kind. Bad dad and shitty husband, devotes too much time to the job. After the dirty cops botch a clandestine heist that yields a surprising 25kgs of cocaine, Downs and his partner become the focus of the buyers and the sellers of the narcotics; son of mob-boss, Novak (Scoot Macnairy) and Luxus casino manager Stanley Rubino (Dermot Mulroney). In retaliation, Downs' 16-year old son is kidnapped until the drugs can be returned and the deal transacted.
To compound the problem, Internal Affairs agents Bryant and Dennison (Michelle Monahan and David Harbour respectively) have begun investigating, thanks to the presence of government issued ammunition at the heist scene, and instantly the filthy Downs has become the prime suspect. The fall-out (and everyone involved) collide in Rubino's casino over the course of one night while everyone tries to get their shit straight before Daddy Novak shows up and whips everyone's ass.
Think SNAKE EYES meets CRANK with neither the wit of the former nor the velocity of the latter.
In an age where the police thriller has been elevated to almost an art-form, no thanks to talents like Michael Mann and David Ayer, SLEEPLESS wants so badly to play with the big-boys and be Vegas Vice, what with all its crisp neon lights and deep focus into the Nevada night sky, it's gruff, dirty police and sharp-suited criminals, but while it looks the part thanks to Romanian director of photography, Mihai Malaimare, SLEEPLESS' biggest letdown is Andrea Berloff's derivative script, which is a crying shame given her last effort - Mel Gibson's BLOOD FATHER - was a lean, mean mother-fucking machine!
Too much of SLEEPLESS is recycled and derivative to make it worth the while of the more than capable cast. We've seen it all before and we've seen it better. We've seen the visuals, the archetypes, the combat, the gunplay, the plot twists all before. Foxx does well with the physical requirements, handling the fisticuffs as well as he does the odd scene of familial softness. Monahan does her best in as the largely thankless expositional mouth-piece, grissling her way through the cynical, one-note IA role. It is refreshing, however, to see a tough female cop that doesn't rely on hyperbole in order to convey toughness.
Ultimately SLEEPLESS biggest problem is that it has no big problems. It's a fine film. Its not a great film and it's not horrible film. It's just a fine film...