Thursday, March 21, 2024

A cop who has lost his memory

I can watch Russell Crowe in almost anything and not feel cheated. And, yes, I've seen The Pope's ExorcistCrowe has traveled a long way from his Gladiator days; he now seems immersed in pure character work with little emphasis on heroism. In Sleeping Dogs, a jumbled noir thriller, Crowe plays a retired homicide detective who's suffering from Alzheimer's. Crowe's Roy Freeman has been given an experimental treatment to help jar his memory back to life. The story kicks in when a death row inmate (Pacharo Mzembe) asks Roy to revisit a case in which he helped get a conviction. The former detective struggles to rebuild long-ago events involving the murder of an academic (Marton Csokas) who had a sexy femme fatale research assistant (Karen Gillan). Roy asks his one-time partner and drinking buddy (Tommy Flanagan) to help. Some of the story is told in flashbacks that introduce us to an aspiring author (Harry Greenwood) who falls for Gillan's character.  Crowe gives the movie a solid center but it's not enough to keep incredulity at bay. A surprise twist of an ending fails to shock (you probably will see it coming) and Sleeping Dogs winds up squandering Crowe's efforts. 

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