Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sleepless Night

As I have pointed out before, policemen in French films are often not good looking, and viewers can't use clothing and looks to distinguish between plain clothes cops and criminals. Sleepless Nights exploits this ambiguity in an early plot twist. Though given the cops are bent then the ambiguity may be warranted!

It is not a good morning for Vincent, starting with a wound, a lippy son and a less than sympathetic ex-wife, things have only begun to go bad. At work a couple of investigators from internal affairs are sniffing around when he gets a phone call from a Corsican drug dealer, to blackmail him.

Sleepless Nights (or Nuit Blanche) crams a lot of action into a 24 hour period and its long frenetic chase scene in a massive and busy night club to redeem a hostage, reminds me of last year's French thriller Point Blank. Writer / director Frédéric Jardin manages to steer our sympathies away from law and order and get us backing Vincent. He even manages to give Vincent his own Bond girl style moment of relief in the middle of the chase.

It is the third in this year's trilogy of bad cop movies (along side Rampart and Killer Joe). It is the winner in terms of high adrenaline action / chase scenes and the one where the audience can identify most closely with the cop. It is also the most orthodox / traditional in its structure. So I'm not surprised that Warner Bros has acquired the rights to remake it. I doubt if they can do better than the original.

Sleepless Night is also a film that can double as an advert for how much punishment iPhones can take!

Ian's rating 4/5

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