Sleeping Dogs (2024) A Russell Crowe Detective Thriller Filled with Murders, Mysteries, and the Intricacies of the Mind and Memories

Unpacking a slow-burning thriller that fails to capitalize on its promising premise, ultimately leaving a bland impression.

Sleeping Dogs
Martha Lucas

Sleeping Dogs is a thriller directed by Adam Cooper starring Russell Crowe. With Karen Gillian, Marton Csokas, and Tommy Flanagan. It is based on the novel by E.O. Chirovici.

“Sleeping Dogs” does not present as an original thriller or a film we haven’t seen before. Rather, it’s a movie that plays it safe, focusing on adhering to the classic guidelines of a psychological murder thriller: offering a touch of titillation for the viewer and most importantly, intriguing them through the progressive unraveling of the mystery via plot twists. It attempts on both fronts and succeeds, albeit without much creativity, thus undermining the effectiveness of those twists.

The premise seems promising, albeit reminiscent of a mashup between Memento and Final Analysis, but ultimately fails to replicate either of them.

Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs

The Plot

A detective who has undergone experimental Alzheimer’s treatment is tasked with reviewing a murder case he was previously involved with. This leads him to investigate the murder of a university professor specialized in studying the mind and memories, and a mysterious woman who worked alongside the professor.

About the Movie

Fans of Russell Crowe will find his performance satisfactory, despite him not being in peak physical form. Nevertheless, he remains a solid actor who, with minimal effort, can craft a character that could have been more complex if not for the script’s simplicity. Often, he merely delivers his lines and lets his character be carried by the sequence of events and plot, embodying the quintessential attribute of a good actor: adapting to films that prioritize plot twists over character development.

Karen Gillian, a remarkable actress, faces the challenge of shining in a film where the script does little to support her. Despite carrying the weight of the story’s mystery, her performance is overshadowed as the dialogue fails to allow her character to shine. Despite the enigma surrounding her character, it remains without any intrigue beyond what her lines provide.

Regarding the direction: it’s uneven in a film that unfolds slowly, accelerates, and indulges in excessive flashbacks, at times aiming to be a psychological mystery, at others a conventional murder thriller. It fails to decide, trying to please both the genre and viewer expectations without fully achieving either.

Our Opinion

“Sleeping Dogs” gradually disappoints as the efforts to twist the plot fall flat one after another, and by the time we near the end, nothing left in this film with a great atmosphere and performances can surprise us. Due to its predictable script, the movie ends up being quite lightweight and underwhelming.

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Martha Lucas is passionate about film and literature. She is working on her first novel and writes articles. In charge of the theater and books sections at MCM. Seville, Spain. Contact: martalucas (@) martincid (.) com
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