Jeremy Alter's "The Perfect Sleep" is as good of an example of film noir as it gets, with its bleak settings, cynical characters and loads of machismo. One finds it hard not to compare it to such past examples as "Sin City" or "The Spirit
." But as anyone that has seen both movies knows that there is a big difference between them, and that difference is the script.
So how does "The Perfect Sleep" compare?
The plot spans several generations and keeps the story going through flashbacks that explain the main character's reasons for returning to a place that he swore he never would. His journey consists of getting punched, kicked and shot at, but at the same time, he takes these beatings and keeps on going. Article continues below
The film is almost entirely narrated, explaining everything that's both unclear and obvious. But the narration is actually a positive thing, since at times, the story takes a backseat to the visuals. In fact, the film sometimes feels more like a photo album rather than an engrossing feature. But don't blame Alter
, he did a remarkable job with the mediocre script.
The biggest selling point for this movie is the many fight sequences, which are very realistic-looking and often violent. While the gore is kept down to a minimum, still expect some slicing and stabbing, mostly targeted at the main character played by Anton Pardoe
And speaking of Pardoe, he is the main reason why the film is not as great as it could have been. He wrote the script and starred in the film. And while he fits seamlessly into the action scenes, his acting could use a bit of work. You can only take so much grunting and whispering before you start begging for something different.
And what about the beautiful Roselyn Sanchez
(Rush Hour 2)? She is completely underused and only appears in a few awkward scenes. Her character is a necessity to the story, its just too bad she couldn't be used properly. Once again, I blame the script.
To summarize, "The Perfect Sleep" is more like "The Spirit." There are many great visuals, lots of action, great fight sequences, but the script keeps the many characters completely underdeveloped and makes the story, at times, difficult to follow. I'm now waiting to see what Alter can do with better screenplay, especially for an action flick.