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The action in "Sleepless Night" is intense, sure. However, it is not a
fight filled, guns blazing extravaganza. The US trailer and comments
gave this movie credit with being a mix of Die Hard, 24, and Taken.
However, it is much better than Taken, more intelligent than Die Hard,
and more unnerving than 24.
Tomer Sisley plays Vincent, a cop who moves cocaine for a drug kingpin. However, things take a turn for the worse and Vincent's son is kidnapped by Marciano, the kingpin. Vincent must enter Marciano's nightclub and outsmart the thugs and crooked cops who are both trying to track down Vincent. Sisley's performance is physical and real, his face is often twisted in pain or sadness, or violent rage. His acting impressed me more than all other aspects of the movie.
The setting takes place almost entirely in a nightclub, where Vincent is searching for his son while trying to search for the hidden drugs which he must give to Marciano in exchange for his boy. Never have crowds of ordinary people played such an important part in a film. The crowds on the dance floor, stairs, and bathrooms all play significant parts in the film. I felt claustrophobic just watching Vincent try to swim through a mess of bodies numerous times. The lighting and music creates a seemingly frantic pace, of which the movie already has plenty. Another highlight is the fight between Vincent and fellow cop Manuel. It is a very realistic and brutal one. It turns into a desperate, devastating fight where both men are exhausted physically and mentally after wards. They utilize numerous kitchen items and the landscape to try and better one another. There is no fancy fight moves or wall climbing, only ferocity and violence in this fight.
I was impressed with the acting and location. The plot is average, but the cast helps elevate it, and you are genuinely concerned for Vincent an his son's well being. It is in French with English subtitles, and I'm glad there was no awful dubbing as is what usually happens. It is a good action movie that impresses with its cinematography and acting. Well worth a viewing or more, especially if you enjoy films like Die Hard or Taken. It more than deserves a spot next to them on the shelf.
Sleepless Night, the new French action film written and directed by
Frédéric Jardin, combines all the visceral action of a film like Die
Hard, with the suspense and urgency of 24. While the film itself
doesn't stray too far from the standard action formula, it still
manages to take us on fun ride over the course of one crazy night.
Shot almost entirely in what appears to be the largest, most labyrinthine night club in the world, Sleepless Night follows Vincent, a cop who ends up on the wrong side of the law, as he attempts to make things right, and save his kidnapped son. Caught between the gangsters that have his child, and the police that are chasing him down, Vincent needs to make his way through the crowded night club and get himself and his son to safety.
Although this is not an entirely original concept, the execution of the story is expertly done. Within the first minute of the film, we're thrown into the action, which sets the tone for the rest of the movie. It's fast paced and at times frantic, but does let us catch our breath from time to time. The fact that it also takes place over the course of one night, in one centralized location, also adds to the suspenseful nature of the film. Although the club seems to be enormous, with many back hallways and side rooms, it's also very crowded and feels claustrophobic at times, which helps accentuate the frenzy, along with the ever present thumping of the club's music.
Having the entire film take place in this club is an interesting idea, however there are several questions of logic and common sense that are raised. Mainly, the fact that there are numerous gun fights throughout the film, and no one seems to be frightened or call the police. There are also several fights that take place in very public areas, and yet everyone seems to just ignore the fact that men are being killed around them. Personally, if I'm at a club and I hear gunshots, I'm out of there, I don't care if they just started playing that Queen song I love.
Logistical problems aside, this is still a fun movie to watch. The fight scenes are very realistic looking and feel very brutal. Instead of going with meticulously choreographed punches and kicks, Jardin decided to go with a more simple approach. The men who are fighting look like there's a purpose to every punch. They are doing it out of necessity, not because it looks flashy. Vincent does everything within his power to fend off his attackers and get to his son. He uses the environment to his advantage, grabbing at anything and everything that will stop the people trying to kill him.
Sleepless Night does a lot of borrowing from Die Hard, but still manages to stand on it's own as a top notch action film. With an engaging story, and some excellent fight scenes, this is an easy recommendation for any action fan. It's also been recently announced that this film will be getting an American remake, so it's certainly worth checking out before we ruin it with our own version.
Fantastic film. Really tight action thriller. Very well plotted, and very well executed. I saw another reviewer complain because it was not as action packed as the publicity misled him to believe. It just doesn't feel like an American action flick because it doesn't have famous international stars with overgrown muscles saying lapidary lines every time they shoot a bad guy. I love Die Hard too, don't get me wrong, but this is just a different kind of animal. This is reminiscent of Die Hard only in the high concept (one man against lots of bad guys in a confined environment); the tone is much more realistic and gritty. It's not a shoot them all in which they never run out of bullets either, nor a martial arts extravaganza, but action packed it is: it gets relentless. The action is just grounded. The hero here, or anti-hero, maybe, is not the best shot on earth, and is not stronger or a better fighter than anyone else, nor has any special "movie hero" skills. He's really human; he's just more desperate. But that's what makes the film so raw. The stakes feel real. The fights will have you twisting on your seat, not cheering as the hero makes mincemeat of anyone in his path a la Taken. It is not a wish-fulfillment ride, like most Hollywood action flicks, but precisely for that reason it is a very intense ride. It's really gripping. The plot devices (son in danger, etc) don't come out too cheesy and the actors make their characters very believable. The complexity of the plot is easy to follow despite the lack of expository dialog spoon-fed to the audience. We see what the hero sees, realize what he realizes. We realize indeed how bad the odds are for him and we wonder what could he possibly do, as the situation gets worse and worse. We understand the playground and are challenged to guess how is he going to use it. We get to know all the other characters and why they are desperate too, rising the stakes, and we keep peeling them off in layers, unveiling twists and double crossings in an exercise of one upmanship. They don't round it up with a beautiful bow in the end nor every little subplot is tied up with a saccharine sweet epilogue. It is abrupt enough, not complacent with us, while still delivering the required closure. In my view this just adds to the general grit. I highly recommend this film. It felt fresh. Not recognizing every actor also helped make it feel real. The modern day french setting with immigrants from everywhere also helped provide separation from the US or UK set cop dramas that we are used to watch here in the US. Sorry to rant. I just watched it on Netflix and felt compelled to come to IMDb and learn more about it (I had never heard of it before), and then to write this review.
A very nice movie, with a perfect plot, very good actors and a big direction. An old American movie,"No Way Out", (Italian title is "Senza via di scampo") is in my opinion the most similar movie for rhythm and perfection of the plot. You can't stop to see, and you don't know never how the movie will can finish, can happen absolutely all. And the end is perfect too, a very, very nice and clever solution. The bad guys are very, very bad, there are some little moment of humor and the movie goes without a moment to stop ! Go to see and/or buy the movie if you like the crime-movies, it's surely a masterpiece of this kind! Or wait an year or less to see the remake that surely Hollywood will do very soon, even with Denzel Washington in the lead-role...
Two masked cops go after some drug dealers and steal their drugs. One
of them, Vincent, is injured in the ensuing fight. He's also identified
by one of the criminals and witnesses. As a result, the big bad drug
lord, Jose, kidnaps Vincent's son to get his drugs back. Now Vincent
forcefully explains to his partner Manuel, that he needs the drugs
while Manuel wants his cut and needs the money. Later Manuel meets with
a crooked internal affairs cop.
Vincent retrieves the drugs and goes to Jose's lair, a giant dance club/restaurant/bar/private club for perverts and more. But he was followed by a female IA. She sees him go in the men's restroom with a bag but exit without the bag. So she goes in the men's restroom and finds the bag in the ceiling. She takes it and hides it in the women's restroom ceiling.
Vincent with just one little packet of drugs meets Jose and demands to see his son. After Jose checks the drugs and Vincent sees his son he offers to return in a few minutes with the rest of the drugs, which of course aren't there anymore. So he devises a plan and goes to the kitchen and gets the staff to fill packets with flour and put them in a bag. But by now another foreign gang has arrived demanding the drugs from Jose. The ruse works and Vincent gets his son back, but only for a while. He quickly loses his son again to the thugs.
Now with no more moves to make he has to get his son back, with Jose and his henchmen after him as well as the two IA agents and Vincent's ex-wife constantly calling him on the phone.
Nuit Blanche is quite thrilling at first. Everything up to the point where he loses his son after getting him is very exciting, timing is very important for Vincent and we are on the edge counting the seconds till the foreign drug dealers discover the ruse. Things slow down then for a bit as Vincent has no way out--no drugs, no weapon (he hid his somewhere in the club). But quickly things pick up again as he confronts the IA agents very violently and things get a little funny too as he uses some cute girl he rescued earlier from a pushy guy to hide and escape from all the people after him. Story-wise too there are several twists and turns and things aren't quite as they seem.
But, too much time is spent on the son, the ex-wife, kitchen fight scenes. Vincent running through a very crowded club gets repetitive fast. Almost the entire movie is set in the club and despite attempts to give us a variety of environments, it does get tiring after a while. Nevertheless, for a Heat-inspired French action thriller, this movie is worth watching.
This isn't a "French" movie. This is a pretty conventional Mel
Gibson/Harrison Ford action/thriller made in France.
For what it is, it is very successful and keeps moving from beginning to end and has a decent number of twists, but there is little "Frenchness" to it, other than it appears that the characters don't bathe often.
Still, if you want to chew up some time with a solid popcorn movie and you don't mind reading subtitles, this is a good choice. As long as you aren't expecting any philosophical insights into life or anything like that, I think you'll be satisfied and it's always nice to see some new faces and places, even if it's pretty much the same old same old as far as the plot goes.
The latter years I've gotten more and more impressed with French action
movies. At least those I've come too see here in Norway, and that's
quite a few. I would go so far as saying that the French are now the
leading action flick makers, and by far has passed both the Americans
and the Brits. The French movies I've seen recently is full of action,
we'll played and has a great touch of realism, which very often is not
the case with the films coming out of Hollywood.
This film, "Sleepless night", is about to be remade in Hollywood I understand, and there's really no wonder why. This is action from start to finish, and the best action I've seen since "Headhunters". It's tight, exciting, down right dirty action, and still very realistically told. It's a drug heist gone wrong, exploding into a nightmare. Many of there has been with corrupt cops, which is a great genre in itself amongst these films. I guess it's a great premise that you don't know who you can trust, or rather, like in this. You know who you can't trust. Anyone!
We meet a divorced cop getting into trouble after a rather bad decision. He is seen after committing a theft of a load of drugs. As a direct following if this, his beloved teenage son is kidnapped by the gangster missing their drugs. This starts off a nightmare which you really shouldn't miss!
A roller coaster of bad decisions and bad people. Filmed in dirty raw, grainy film, stressed music, with hand-held camera, which I've rarely seen more well done. Not annoying, just realistically adding to the nerve of the story. A treat of a film which sucks you up right from the start. I'll keep checking out French action movies!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like in his two previous movies , 'The Burma Conspiracy' and 'Largo
Winch', Tomer Sisley delivers a solid performance; he is convincing,
pulls you into his character's corner and you will not only be rooting
for him, you will feel his pain. As much as I enjoyed the previous two
films of Sisley, I was no less engaged here. The movie's premise is
simple, at least at the onset, but then it gets complicated in just the
right measure, as any good thriller ought to. Also, as you'll find in
several top French action thriller, the line between good and bad cop
gets a little blurry, creatively speaking (that's good); there are no
good guys, you might think, only innocent bystanders.
Sisley plays a motivated man like you would expect any 'father trying to rescue his son' type character should; however, this movie brings it to an even higher plateau. You are convinced his character is a cop turned bad, like so many classic cop characters do, and this is strategically intended; he's not. It is easy to miss this important fact, with all the tense action and intense bad guys, and I almost did. At that point, you are even more compelled by the story, but if you don't pay attention, you just might remain unaware he was a good cop until the end when it becomes clear he was a hero times two.
The very high ratings by critics indicate to me they have not missed any of those details. But fear not, regardless if the fast paced action scenes prevent you from catching the little clues, it can still work thanks to a fine 'dénouement' ending; nonetheless, I hope you catch all the clues. Don't drink Red Bull or anything of the sort while viewing this highly charged film; it may be harmful to your health. On the other hand, if you do, you won't miss any of the smart twists.
OK. If your reading the reviews and people are telling you this movie is average or not good they are way off!! This movie has everything you want in a good flick. Love, fear, violence,a good twist and action. Its all woven together in to a plot that leaves you gripping the hand(s) of a loved one in anticipation of what will happen next. You will never guess who are the good guys and who are the bad guys as you watch this man in pursuit of what means everything to him. Watch how relentless he is, no matter the obstacle, no matter the threat, no matter the pain, and no matter the consequences.In the end you find out why this man is really being perused and you become even more touched by his sleepless night...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one of those pictures that picks you up, drags you along, wringing you out all the way and leaves you gasping at the end. Somewhere along the way there was a plot, I think, but it was so complicated that it was difficult to follow, what with all the action. The kitchen of the night-club takes a terrible drubbing and gets dripped with blood all over, about five men are brutally shot dead and one is finished off by being manually suffocated by, yes, the bad guy, whom we thought throughout was the good guy. But the pretty little female detective has seen through him as a result of messages on her (unbeknownst to her, stolen) cell-phone. She's shot, but yes she lives and just with one look of hers, you know that she will pursue him and testify against him and ruin his life and send him to prison for many, many years. It's a great picture and congratulations to the directer, who also wrote it. BTW, it's yet another low-budget picture of shatteringly high quality that makes Hollywood's $400 million budgets look absolutely ridiculous.
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