Netflix spends an exorbitant amount of time and money developing complicated algorithms to cater to users’ viewing needs. But ever since they started their Top 10 movies list, the only semblance of a pattern I can see is that folks really seem to enjoy under-seen and underrated action movies. Why else would the 2017 Jamie Foxx flick, Sleepless, be #2 on the Top 10 movies list and #6 on the overall charts?
This comes after a pair of Gerard Butler films, Angel Has Fallen and Den of Thieves, also dominated the charts over the past few weeks. Fallen is the third entry in a Die Hard ripoff franchise and Thieves is a blatant knockoff of Heat to the point where they should be sued for plagiarism. That being said, both offer up some mindless entertainment that can easily occupy you for a few hours.
Sleepless, meanwhile, follows undercover Las Vegas cop Vincent Downs (Foxx). After a botched heist leads to the kidnapping of his son, Downs has one night to get him back, uncover a corruption scheme and basically destroy a Vegas casino. All things considered, it’s a perfectly serviceable action movie. The fight sequences are pretty well choreographed and Scoot McNairy is memorable as the psychotic son of a mob boss with some serious daddy issues. Future Marvel superhero David Harbour makes an appearance, too.
There are two problems with the film, however. First is that it’s kind of impossible for Foxx to not be funny, but director Baran bo Odar somehow pulls it off. I get that it’s supposed to be a gritty cop movie, but Foxx not having one ounce of charisma or charm is still astounding.
The second problem is that this is a remake of a much better French film, Sleepless Night, which came out in 2012. If you don’t mind the subtitles, watch that one instead. There’s a fight scene in a kitchen that’s particularly great.
But if all you’re in the mood for is a 90-minute action movie to fill some time, I guess Sleepless is a good choice right now. It isn’t exactly awards-worthy viewing, but it’s nonetheless an underrated thriller that should manage to keep most people entertained.