Review: The Night Never Sleeps (2012)
Directed by: Fred Carpenter
Written by: Michael A. Lovaglio
MPAA: Not Yet Rated (But does contain Nudity, Violence, Language, and Rape)
Released: 13 July 2012 (USA)
Starring: Dan Brennan, Eric Roberts, Russ Camarda, Armand Assante, Robert Clohessy, Stephanie Finochio, Jose Hernandez Jr.
Synopsis: Set in New York City and written by career cop Michael Lovaglio, “The Night Never Sleeps” follows the journey of New York Street Crimes Sargent Thomas Cavanaugh (Dan Brennan) during the course of one night as he and his partners Rourke (Stephanie Finochio) and Jablonsky (Robert Clohessy) hunt down murderers of one of their task force.
My Thoughts: George Orwell once said “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because tough men stand ready to do the violence on their behalf.” When the sun sets and the average working stiffs clear out, the animals come out to play. The drug dealers and prostitutes, the muggers, the peddlers and psychos, the streets become their playground, and all that stands between us and the injustice that lurks about are those whom put others before themselves.
Written by career cop Michael Lovaglio, “The Night Never Sleeps” follows the journey of a New York Street Crimes Sargent investigating a murder linked to multiple crimes which is quickly spiraling out of control during the course of one unfortunate night. Every officer’s worst nightmare is encountering that moment, that one defining moment on the force when the bad escalates into the unimaginable… For Sargent Thomas Cavanaugh (Dan Brennan) tonight will be that night. Similar in tone and narrative of the crime dramas of the 70’s and 80’s, TNNS offers an honest look at the gritty and morally corrupt streets of the big apple after hours. I’m not going to lie to you here: I’ve seen so many crime/cop dramas over the years, especially dealing with New York that the crime genre itself no longer strikes me with the level of appeal like it once used to… but I digress; Michael A. Lovaglio’s screenplay was something I found quite intriguing. It doesn’t try to be bigger than what it is, nor does it attempt to give you some kind of hidden message; it’s straightforward and to the point. It’s a story about vengeance and redemption of past mistakes, it’s about a cop going the extra mile and doing what must be done to put an end to madness, adding that with Fred Carpenter’s blunt gritty film style and the results were the perfect combination for a classic cop drama.
The film is mostly split between officer Cavanaugh (Brennan) and Iceman (Camarda). What’s interesting is how opposite these two are: Cavanaugh is a dead to rights honest cop just trying to keep the sickos and scumbags off the streets the best way he can, though his methods on how to deal with crime could be viewed by some as a tad bit extreme as for as procedural protocol dictates. Still, Cavanaugh has his reasons. However, Iceman on the other hand, has no reasons; he’s not killing for money or the drugs, though those are bonuses for the line of work. He murders, steals and rapes simply because he can, and because he can, he will. The level of extreme that Iceman’s personality tip toes on was a fine line between anarchy and madness. What I admired most about the film was the atmospheric tone it had, the brute honesty in the way it presents itself on screen, from the blunt unadulterated rawness of the city, to the way each and every character is presented on screen; it’s very alluring to get lost in the moment at times. Now mixing that with the composed work of jazz musician Vincent Nigro, “The Night Never Sleeps” is an impressively well done movie. My only real complaint with this movie was that a few scenes weren’t entirely needed and only slowed the pacing down a tad bit in certain areas.
As for the acting: the acting is where the TNNS really excels. The cast consisted of some fine veteran actors of the 80’s and 90’s both mainstream and indie which included the talents of Robert Clohessy, Armand Assante and Eric Roberts, whom did magnificent in their performances. Their presence added a touch of nostalgia that was very much appreciated. Dan Brennan, the film’s lead, did a fantastic job as officer Cavanaugh. Having seen Brennan in “The Video Guys” and “Maggie Marvel”, I already knew what to expect out of him performance wise. However, I was really impressed to see him pull off a less comedic-more serious character role for a change; it was different yet enjoying. I’ve heard of stuntwoman Stephanie Finochio by reputation for her remarkable work on so many different projects over the years, but TNNS is the first time I got to see her performance as an actress. And I must say, she handled herself on screen pretty well as Officer Rourke, her and Brennan definitely have good on-screen chemistry going as partners.
Robert Clohessy did pretty well as Detective Jablonsky, his performance was well done for the role. Now anyone who’s watched their fair share of films from the 80’s and 90’s will easily remember Armand Assante. Armand, whom is classically known for his tough guy roles, did great as Inspector Romanelli. He brings a sense of authenticity to the film with his tough as nails New York attitude. Eric Roberts proved satisfactory in the role of slumlord/pimp Hector, the thing about Eric as an actor, is he fully enjoys playing the part of the bad guy, you can see he’s most comfortable being the villain to a degree where he embraces the role entirely. His performance was noteworthy.
But the main attraction for the film was Russ Camarda, who delivered an extraordinary performance as Iceman. I found myself fully engulfed into the film every time Russ’ character appeared on screen, you loved to hate him and hated yourself for wanting to see more of him in the film. His actions are irredeemable and unforgiving. The Iceman is a strong representation of, in a lack for a better work, humanities’ dark side. Now adding that with Jose Hernandez Jr. performance as Vargas, Iceman’s laid back business partner, and the end result is a yin & yang style character chemistry that blends well together.
Finale Say: The Night Never Sleeps was a very enjoying film; while it did have its fair share of flaws, mostly dealing with pacing issues, it was still a well done film all things considering. I recommend it.