Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sleepless Night 2011

I don’t know why I have such a fondness for French action movies, I’m far from being a Francophile, I’ve only been to Paris once as a young man, and I’ve got to say the city left me cold. So the other night I watched this French action movie called Sleepless Night that I never heard of and for a fast 98 minutes it had me huffing and puffing on the edge of my red Ikea couch. The action comes very fast, hard and loose starting with the opening scene that has an in broad daylight drug heist that starts off easy but suddenly goes all wrong when one of the robbers gets stabbed in the side, and has a bloody wound that he carries throughout the movie. I should mention here that the two thieves are dirty cops a common enough plot device in numerous action movies. I think some of the reasons I like French action thrillers so much is because I like hearing all those nasty curse words in French, they sound so pretty and the actors are usually so good and unknown to me that I don’t get caught up in the whole movie star shtick that mars many Hollywood action movies for me. It’s so much easier to get in the groove with these action thrillers when its not Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise or Denzel Washington up there on the screen. The lead dirty cop is played by Tomer Sisley who it turns out is a popular stand up comedian in France and is of Israeli and Russian descent. He is lean sexy and kind of good looking (think of a handsome John Turturro if that’s possible), and I’ve never seen him before which as I said adds to my enjoyment of this kick in the groin action movie. Tomar is divorced from his wife (this seems to be a prerequisite in action movies) and he shares custody of his teenage son who is feisty and quarrelsome especially with his dad. This kid will figure big time in the movie when he is kidnapped by the big mob boss who the cops ripped off in the drug heist. The boss owns a sleek but sleazy big labyrinth of a nightclub where he stashes the kid and where most of the movie takes place. The mayhem that follows the kidnapping is big and bad as Tomar tries to get his kid back and also get the drugs back to the mob boss before they smoke the kid. This is not as easy as it sounds. The movie might be too violent and harsh for some, but I don’t think these ”some” would be interested in action movies anyway. Kinetic and colorful with sharp direction by Frederic Jardin the movie is full of double and triple crosses and some very yuky hoods and nasties including the sexy Joey Starr who is a rapper and a real life con and who also has a pivotal role in “Polisse” another very good French action movie. One of the best films of 2011. 


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