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A By-The-Numbers Thriller – Sleeping Dogs (review)

2 min read

Russell Crowe stars as ex-homicide detective Roy Freeman who is forced to revisit a case, that he can’t remember. Roy suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and has to start the case from scratch. As a man’s life hangs in the balance on death row, Roy must piece the case together and uncover the truth.

This is a by-the-numbers thriller. There’s twists and tension throughout this rollercoaster mystery. Unfortunately, Sleeping Dogs is a chore to sit through; it plods along at a painfully slow pace, showcasing a non-linear jumbled narrative of a boring, and quite frankly, uninteresting mystery. The twists never feel exciting because they’re easily predictable and very cliché, the tension feels forced, and the dialogue overly expositional and clunky.

Russell Crowe is fine in this, adding some depth to an otherwise forgettable protagonist. Crowe often disappears for large chunks of the narrative as we are plunged into long flashbacks as he pieces together evidence and alibi’s. A lot of the time, we follow the rest of the bloated ensemble, following the likes of Laura (Karen Gillan), Dr. Joseph Wieder (Marton Csokas), and Richard Finn (Harry Greenwood). These three characters in particular are frustrating and very annoying, all saddled with bland dialogue and a lack of chemistry.

The film itself is simply dull to look at. There are some interesting visual choices in the beginning, but as the film progresses, the cinematography becomes bland and the direction is more pedestrian.

The main issue with Sleeping Dogs is that it is just unengaging. This is supposed to be a mystery, inviting you to make up your own mind as to what happened and who is actually the culprit. Instead, it’s a complete snooze fest that drags on way too long and wastes its main star.

Sleeping Dogs is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video