Insomnia (2002) Directed by Christopher Nolan. With Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank.
Re-making the 1997 Norwegian film of the same name, acclaimed director Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia is a killer thriller that is perhaps most notable for how unremarkable it is. Often referred to a “Nolan’s weakest film to date”, possibly due to it retreading recently trodden ground; I would suggest that it feels a curious step backwards after the brilliance that was Memento a few years earlier.
What is certain is that Insomnia is in no way or part a bad film. The contrary, it is capably constructed, well acted, beautifully shot – but does little to separate itself from the sea of other watch-able, but largely forgettable Hollywood thrillers.
In the central role of an LA cop investigating a homicide in a small fishing town in Alaska, Al Pacino gives a well measured and weighty performance that steers clear of the over-excitement his performances can sometimes suffer from. Pacino is supported by a steady cast and scenic surroundings, all of which play a part in keeping the film on its feet until the obligatory final showdown.
If you like films, but don’t really follow form in terms of who makes what, the chances are you’ll leave Insomnia satisfied that you’ve been fed a serviceable, well acted thriller. If like me, you love cinema and eagerly await the films of key directors whose work you adore and re-watch countless times, you can be forgiven for feeling slightly disappointed. Hardly sleep inducing, but nothing special. 3/5