Release Date: May 11, 2012
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 98 minutes
The gripping French thriller Sleepless Night strips Die Hard down to its bare essentials, relocates the action to a Parisian nightclub, and throws in more than a dash than of Taken to raise the stakes. This Fantastic Fest favorite follows the tireless efforts of Tomer Sisley’s dirty cop to give back the drugs he stole from a mobster in return for his kidnapped teenage son. When Sisley loses the drugs before the exchange, he must elude the mobster’s henchmen in the hectic nightclub while mounting one rescue attempt after another. There have been many Die Hard rip offs in the past 20 years or so, but director Frederic Jardin’s decision to confine Sleepless Night to a nightclub is inspired. Over the course of several hours, the venue goes from graveyard quiet to a hot, sweaty and jam-packed den of iniquity. The loud music, the crush of bodies, and the labyrinth nature of the nightclub create a disorientating effect that further adds to the confusion and exhaustion that Sisley—and by extension, the audience—experiences with passing minute. Bearing this in mind, Sisley never gives the impression that his cop is a one-man army. He endures many beatings from both the bad guys and the nightclub patrons he inadvertently disturbs. Pure willpower pushes Sisley to match on, and the pain and fatigue he suffers is palpable. When it comes to John McClane clones, Sisley is the closest to displaying the vulnerability, sense of desperation, and inner fortitude that made Bruce Willis such an iconic everyman hero in the first Die Hard. Sisley, though, is never required to tie a fire hose around his waist and jump off a building. Jardin keeps the action grounded in reality and avoids cartoonish violence as at costs. Accordingly, not only does Sleepless Night distinguishes itself from the other Die Hard wannabees, but it also makes us miss the John McClane we first met, not the invincible cop who caused all sorts of mayhem in the inferior Die Hard sequels.
Aired: May 10, 2012
Web site: http://tribecafilm.com/tribecafilm/filmguide/512cf90d1c7d76e046001ee7-sleepless-night