At this point in his career, it’s almost getting hard to remember that Jamie Foxx first broke onto the national stage via doing wacky characters on the FOX sketch series In Living Color, and then moving onto getting into even more wacky situations as the star of his own self-titled sitcom. Of course, Foxx’s career trajectory drastically changed following the 2004 one-two punch of critically acclaimed films Collateral and Ray, the latter of which earned Foxx an Academy Award for his performance as deceased music legend Ray Charles.
In the years since, Foxx has mostly stuck to dramatic work, along with a few big-budget action flicks, and a memorable cameo role in the Horrible Bosses films. That said, while Foxx has certainly done his fair share of work in the action genre, one thing he’s yet to do is headline a Charles Bronson-style, shoot-em-up urban action flick. This action sub-genre has experienced a resurgence, mostly it seems thanks to the work of Liam Neeson in efforts like the Taken series; although the Keanu Reeves vehicle John Wick is another recent successful example.
That all changes with next year’s Sleepless, which stars Foxx as Vincent Downs, an undercover Las Vegas police officer who has infiltrated the city’s mob-controlled criminal underworld in order to gather evidence against both these violent gangsters and the corrupt cops who enable their evil deeds. Unfortunately, after a heist goes wrong, Vincent’s cover is blown, and those he was seeking to bring down decide to kidnap his young son. Before one can say, “I have a very particular set of skills,” Vincent sets off on an all-night, take-no-prisoners rescue mission. Open Road Films has released the first trailer for Sleepless – which can be viewed above – along with a new poster below:
While the fact that Sleepless’ main plot is kicked off by the abduction of the lead hero’s child is guaranteed to invoke endlesss comparison to the aforementioned Taken, Brian Mills was hardly the first character to be tasked with such a rescue mission and subsequently embark on a roaring rampage of revenge. Vincent Downs certainly won’t be the last, either.
In the action genre, the uniqueness of the concept is often much less important to viewer enjoyment than how that concept is executed. If Sleepless ends up thrilling audiences well enough, they’ll likely quickly get past its similarity to prior films. For his part, Foxx seems game to fully indulge in a role seemingly much harsher than the majority that he’s played – and if he does well in the finished product, one wonders whether he’ll then get his own Neeson-like run of one-man army action movies.
Sleepless is expected to arrive in theaters sometime in spring 2017.
Source: Open Road Films, AMC