HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
Girls Town
Burning
Hitchhikers, The
For All Mankind
Glass Key, The
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
   
 
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
   
 
  Innocent Sleep, The Down-and-out D.O.A.Buy this film here.
Year: 1996
Director: Scott Michell
Stars: Rupert Graves, Annabella Sciorra, Michael Gambon, John Hannah, Franco Nero, Graham Crowden, Oliver Cotton, Tony Bluto, Paul Brightwell, Campbell Morrison, Hilary Crowson, Kieran Smith, Sean Gilder, Brian Lipson, Dermot Kerrigan, Dermot Keaney
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Homeless ne’er-do-well Alan Terry (Rupert Graves) witnesses the mob execution of banker Lusano (Oliver Cotton), presided over by Italian boss Adolfo Cavani (Franco Nero) and his British enforcer “Stephens” (Michael Gambon). Fleeing the killers, Alan tries to report the murder, only to discover the man investigating the case is none other than Detective Inspector Stephens. Alan’s drunken, but fatherly friend George (Graham Crowden) puts him in touch with Billie Hayman (Annabella Sciorra), an ambitious journalist harbouring guilt for having betrayed another confidential informant. With Alan’s help, Billie pieces the mystery together, but Stephens is on their trail.

Back in the mid-Nineties, this British thriller came and went at the big screen, making little impression. The only movie to date from director Scott Michell, The Innocent Sleep was an early producing credit for Matthew Vaughn, who two years later kick-started the Brit crime flick craze with Guy Ritchie and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Scripted by Ray Villis, the film was inspired by the true life case of Roberto Calvi, dubbed “God’s Banker”, who was found hanging under Blackfriar’s Bridge in 1982. Originally treated as a suicide, an Italian inquiry later established Calvi was murdered, from which the film extrapolates its own far-fetched scenario.

Michell makes skilful use of the London locations and thrifty sets allotted by his meagre budget and imparts a blue and golden hued cinematographic style, not too dissimilar from the French “cinema du look” thrillers from a decade prior. A red-tinged nightmare and a scene where homeless men are set on fire are among the striking, if strangely listless set-pieces, but Michell fails to propel the plot and attempts at pathos just don’t hit home the way they should. After a good start, the film loses its way, marred by clumsy violence and the OTT performances that so often accompany Brit crime flicks. Graves and Gambon overplay their roles as dishevelled scouser and corrupt copper respectively, while Sciorra is seemingly acting in another movie entirely, often caught in digressions like Billie’s ongoing banter with editor boyfriend James (John Hannah).

Along with Alan’s brief dalliance with a teenage runaway and his, never-revealed, reasons for him being estranged from wife Sheila (Hilary Crowson), the Billie-James relationship is another conundrum that clutters the narrative. The premise has potential, but the issue of homeless people being exploited by the business elite fall by the wayside as things plod along listlessly. Michell even adds a pointless motorcycle chase just to inject a little excitement. The climax proves especially frustrating, as mob assassins tie up all the loose ends and with nothing for the heroes to do but stand idly by, unknowingly and hopelessly overwhelmed by the powers that be. Which might be the point Villis’ script is trying to make, but provides nothing particularly exciting or profound.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1761 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: