Movie review: Sleepless Night

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From the June 7, 2012 edition

It’s a pretty common complaint I get during the summer, often regarding Michael Bay films. “Oh, it’s just a big, dumb summer action flick. You don’t get it.”

No, imaginary reader, you don’t get it. It’s not the action that Bay does poorly. It’s the plot. And how he directs actors. And, well, a bunch of other stuff.

This brings me to the French import “Sleepless Night,” a movie that knows how to bring l’action! It’s a movie that knows sometimes the best way to avoid plot problems is to not have much plot.

Vincent (Tomer Sisley), a cop with ties to the crime world, and his partner steal a suitcase full of cocaine from some bad guys. Bad guys, apparently, do not like it when you steal their cocaine.

So the bad guys abduct Vincent’s teenage son, promising to kill him if they don’t get their drugs back. Vincent travels to meet the baddies. L’action ensues.

“Sleepless Night” isn’t groundbreaking, but its simple plot and punchy pacing are infectious. The movie is purely propulsive, hurtling along even as the location stays static in a nightclub.

Co-writer/director Frederic Jardin makes use of the cramped locale with punchy and inventive camerawork. It’ll scratch your action itch better than Michael Bay can, and it’s got subtitles.