is the latest from director Christopher Nolan, who brought us one of last year's finest films, Memento
. Sadly, Insomnia
lacks the cleverness of that movie, instead choosing to tell its seemingly standard story in a decidedly standard form. The first 20 minutes are gruelingly awful, with lots of painfully expository dialogue and the usual crap about how cops hate the internal affairs bureau. Things pick up markedly when Robin Williams enters the picture. I realize that last sentence seems about as sensible as "I always feel better after having my head beat against a stucco wall," but, shockingly, Williams is not only good as suspected killer Walter Finch, he also comes into the film just as it acquires a Hitchcockian twist that makes the rest of it more than watchable. While I can't wholeheartedly recommend Insomnia
, it does tell an interesting story, even though it undercuts itself with stereotyped characters and weak dialogue.