There are two kinds of criminals in the world. The good and the bad. I'm not talking in a dastardly sense, I'm talking about overall ability, charm, and wit. You can either be a great criminal, or a horrible one - and the funny part? The bad ones end up in jail bragging of their crimes, or dead... and the good ones? You don't hear much about them because they don't often bumble around and get caught. "Where Sleeping Dogs Lie" focuses on the more bumbly type of bad guys - but where this trio lacks overall professionalism, they make up for with determination. And that ladies and gents, sets the stage for a 90s era film with lots of comedic chops to laugh about.
As you may have guessed, it's all about the money - and the money makes the man commit the crime. Jeff is in dire need of over one hundred thousand bucks, to pay off his debt to the movie's local crime boss... and she really doesn't like to wait. His solution? To rob a man with a stash of cash he's hiding from his soon to be ex-wife. Sounds pretty easy right? Straight forward, simple, with nothing that can go wrong. Us viewers know better though. Just like real life, easy never means easy - especially when it comes to criminal activity and money. Very quickly, Jeff's band of merry men start having issues and the easy robbery begins to go very wrong. Murphy's law ladies and gents, what can go wrong always will go wrong - especially with a crew that is so... inexperienced. The real question? Is there even any money at all? I suppose you'll simply have to watch the film to find out - but I will say this. "Where Sleeping Dogs Lie" may not be perfect, and may not be for everyone - but if you're one of those people who like this kind of movie, you really can't go wrong here.
The technicalities of this film leave very little to actually discuss. It's a low-budget indie flick, and will never be mistaken for a hundred million dollar production. There are some awkward edits here and there, and some weird feeling fades and transitions scattered throughout. Overall however, the movie flows the way it should - which is a pleasant surprise considering the film uses a lot of flashback sequences, to further flesh out the story and characters. Something that's harder than you may think to get right.
The visual style of the film is very reminiscent of movies from yesteryear, as is the way it uses background music in a very minimal way. As I wrote above, if you're into stylized flicks that will definitely bring you back a few years - you'll really dig this movie - and the comedy I wrote about above? Think a cross between "Pulp Fiction" and "The Whole Nine Yards" as a starting point. The jokes are technically not really jokes, rather unusual situations, scenarios, and the reactions of the characters. Don't get me wrong reader, when the shit hits the fan in this film, it really hits hard. Pierson's film isn't all jokes, not by a long shot. Speaking of the characters, "Where Sleeping Dogs Lie" features some decent enough acting - not perfect, but decent enough to get the job done. I think perhaps the occasional awkward performances actually enhances the general feel of the scenes. These guys are definitely not pros when it comes to being hardened criminals, and the occasional weird performance simply solidifies that.
At the end of the day, if you're into this style of movie you'll definitely enjoy this one. Perhaps a few shots are framed in an awkward way, maybe things don't quite add up all the time... but overall? There's no reason you shouldn't enjoy this flick. The casual viewer may not make it through until the credits, but anyone who really loves movies will find a lot to enjoy here. A solid three and a half stars. Well done.