First up this week is the cop caper Sleepless.
It stars Jamie Foxx as internal, internal, internal affairs detective Vincent Downs, whose son is kidnapped as security following a drugs heist gone bad.
Sleepless in Las Vegas?
I hate it when fridges are used for incarcerating kidnap victims, but that is where the teenager ends up and the clock is ticking for his Dad to rescue him before he chills with the tomatoes and iceberg lettuce (it is not even on – it is out of order – and it still causes me distress, as it would Gordon Ramsay if he were to inspect that kitchen).
Below the retina-blistering Las Vegas skyline, we have emotionally-unavailable Downs, who we learn is wedded to this police mission of two years, meaning he hasn’t been there for his son and months of washing up are piling in his sink. Then we have the professional standards officer Bryant. She is running on psychiatrist visits and single malt after a disastrous operation that resulted in injury. “If someone takes a dump in my department I know about it,” she brags as the hunt intensifies for the dirty cops. Well, it must have been one of those that smells like flowers as she clearly has not seen films like this one before to work out what is going on.
We then encounter Rubino, the suave casino boss, who is going to give the 25kg of cocaine to drug lord Novak and instead it ends up behind a toilet polystyrene ceiling tile (so obvious people) and then disappears. The bad men are really, really angry now.
And worst still, also in pursuit is Downs’ ex-missus Dena, who is mightily unimpressed with his parenting skills.
Downs engages some clever moves to distract his multiple pursuers – but then doesn’t put his phone on silent and gets in a pickle.
I’m hoping the fight in the casino kitchens is what the semi-final of MasterChef will look like this week – flour flying, comedic pan swipes a-plenty. Even the mops prove deadly.
In my car glove compartment are some wet wipes, a new Jelly Belly air freshener and some dog worming tablets (factually correct); Imagine the carnage in the ground floor car park when you have a Franchi SPAS-12 and lachrymator.
It is an enjoyable old skool tale that is a doable time investment at just over 90 minutes – and the smile widens as it dawns he’s the bent cop and he is going to have his nostrils and mouth sealed and oh, they are going straight in the swimming pool.
Some of the goolie grabbing and kicking is quite brutal I should imagine for a fella to witness as well as the baseball machine used as a torture device when coupled with a tongue removal for a grass cousin of one of the drug barons. The cat hasn’t got it – it’s in a gift box. And I do not think one of the resuscitation techniques post-drowning is endorsed by St John Ambulance – a big boot to the stomach, albeit it does the trick.
Death by prosecco sparkler is also extraordinary.
As Anthony Joshua is looking for his next opponent, Foxx’s character would be a mean bet as the man just could not stay down. I’d give it a 7.5.
Walking with my pet pooch
Now I was also going to watch A Dog’s Purpose this week, but I steered away after bad headlines about a German Shepherd ‘actor’ being forced to go for swims in rapids for dramatic scenes.
It sounds like a beautiful story in theory – a devoted dog discovers the meaning of its own existence through the lives of the humans it teaches to laugh and love as it is reincarnated as multiple canines over the course of five decades. However, I didn’t want to court controversy and will leave that moral decision up to you, so I sought an alternative and solace in Ben Fogle with Walks With My Dog – available now on the Channel 4 website.
In this episode, Fogle and his Labrador Storm, presenter Helen Skelton and her dachshund/red setter cross Barney and presenter Emma Kennedy and her maltipoo Molly visit a stretch along the River Thames, the mud flats and beaches of Dumfries and Galloway and the Lake District respectively to enjoy wild swimming, breath-taking views, pooch pub lunches, stunning wildlife and even meaty kisses. I am signed up to them all.
The series involves a collection of lovable British celebrities and their furry best friends revelling in the extraordinary beauty of the British Isles. The filming is exquisite.
Walking is a daily joy to do with the loves of my life – my two black standard poodles Rufus and Rita – and as they snooze next to me after an epic outing of our own today, I reflect on what saviours they can be, what a sanctuary they provide and, as Skelton observes, yes, we have to look after them. But in so doing, they look after us.