HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
Suicide Squad, The
One Night in Miami...
Old
   
 
Newest Articles
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
   
 
  Innocent Sleep, The Down-and-out D.O.A.
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: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 2783 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: