THE SLEEPOVER (NETFLIX) (2020)
SYNOPSIS: Get ready for a sleepover like no other! During a fun weekend sleepover with their best friends, two siblings discover that their seemingly normal stay-at-home mom Margot (Malin Akerman) is actually a former high-end thief in the witness protection program. When both their mom and dad (Ken Marino) are kidnapped and forced to pull one last job with an ex-flame of Margot’s (Joe Manganiello), the siblings must team up to rescue their parents over the course of one action-packed night that they’ll never forget.
Netflix is slowly encroaching into Disney territory with the release of The Sleepover, a harmless action comedy tailored for the entire family.
With a pastry chef husband, Ron (Ken Marino), Margot (Malin Akerman from Rampage and Watchmen) is a seemingly ordinary suburban mother to her teenage daughter, Clancy (Sandie Stanley) and son, Kevin (Maxwell Simkins). But when Margot and Ron is captured by the former’s associates, Clancy, Kevin and their two friends, Mim (Cree Cicchino) and Lewis (Lucas Jaye) must find a way to rescue them not knowing that Margot was once a powerful thief who is now under the witness protection program.
Other than the word “inventive”, The Sleepover is a non-stop action comedy that relied heavily on comedic gags and old school action chops than say campy CGI visuals. This is of course a good thing considering it’s far more economical and satisfying to hire a group of gung-ho stuntmen to execute some flashy somersault and fall. The movie directed by Trish Sie (Pitch Perfect 3) is surprisingly watchable partly because of it. Finally a movie that is not filled with lacklustre CGI.
In addition, Sandie Stanley from Disney’s Kim Possible, her onscreen brother, Maxwell Simkins and Cicchino entertains greatly with their combined chemistry and amusing bantering. Ken Marino whom you might recall from series liked Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Veronica Mars is the main comic relief contributing some vomit and fart jokes. Akerman seems a little out of place in this broad comedy while Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) not looking a day older stars as Margot’s ex-fiancé, a man with lots of muscles and motives.
The story if you are searching for one is generally devoid of any logic considering the seriousness of the crime. Imagine stealing the crown of the Queen. Not only everything is resolved quickly in the end but it’s also conveniently staged. But I guess that’s how a fun dynamic movie should be.
The Sleepover is strictly aimed at the younger audience combining a bit of James Bond gadgets, car chase, elementary Da Vinci kind of clues solving and most important of all, some nice neat life lessons. Sometimes, it doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel in terms of entertainment. This is this generation Spy Kids without the wacky visuals. There’s a thing called less is more.
Review by Linus Tee