There's a reason we picked the French thriller "Sleepless Night" as one of the 10 best movies to play at this year's Tribeca Film Festival: It puts its American counterparts to shame.
When's the last time you saw a truly great American action film that didn't feature a single superhero, or one that wasn't animated (we're looking at you "Kung Fu Panda")? Not so easy to come up with one, right?
"The Raid: Redemption" was the last action movie to soar to great heights, and that came to us courtesy of Indonesia. Now we have the French to thank for shaking up the genre with one of the most breathless thrillers to come along in ages, the aptly titled "Sleepless Night."
Directed by the kinetically gifted Frédéric Jardin, "Sleepless Night" centers on a seemingly corrupt cop Vincent (Tomer Sisley), whose attempt to steal a bag of coke pisses of the resident kingpin. To get even, the baddie kidnaps Vincent's teenage son, leading the father on an all-night quest to save his kid.
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The best part? The whole thing basically takes place in one Parisian mega club. You know what the means ... nonstop thumping beats, drunk clubgoers who get in the way, a hilarious scene that sees Vincent dancing to "Another One Bites the Dust" to blend in with the crowd and trick the bad guys, and a brutal kitchen brawl (because clubs have kitchens, too).
You'd think all this emphasis on action and setting would take away from the characters, but miraculously Jardin never loses sight of the father-son story at the center of the chaos. The dynamic between the two is wholly believable, and there's a nice side story involving Vincent's ex-wife -- and the lies he's forced to tell her over the phone to keep her worries under wraps.
The film's such a welcome rush, it's no wonder Warner Bros. is in talks to remake the film for U.S. audiences. But before you catch the inevitable redo, see the real deal. You can have bragging rights when the remake comes out.