HomeEntertainment"Sleeping Dogs" Film Summary & Ending Explained

    “Sleeping Dogs” Film Summary & Ending Explained

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    Adam Cooper’s first movie “Memento” wasn’t really suited for a big star like Russell Crowe who won an Academy Award.

    But even though “Sleeping Dogs” based on the book “The Book of Mirrors” can be confusing, it’s got some interesting twists and turns that eventually lead to a clear ending.

    Crowe plays a retired detective with Alzheimer’s disease.

    He probably should’ve just left things alone, but he ends up trying to solve a murder case he closed ten years ago just as his experimental treatment starts working.

    Sleeping Dogs
    Image Credits: Paramount Movies

    It’s like his brain is looking for a challenge, and what’s more challenging than solving a real murder?

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    Roy Freeman, the retired detective, follows lots of clues and reads a book written by someone who might not be telling the whole truth.

    Eventually, he figures out who the real murderer is, just before the murderer is about to die.

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    What Goes Down in the Film?

    In the movie, Roy Freeman used to be a top detective until he messed up and got into a car accident because of drunk driving.

    This ended his career, and things got even worse when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

    After trying an experimental surgery, he’s in a lot of pain. Then, he’s asked to look into a case he solved years ago.

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    The person he put in jail, Isaac Samuel, is set to be executed soon. When Roy meets Isaac, he starts to doubt whether Isaac really committed the crime.

    Isaac hints that another guy, Richard Finn, might know something. But Richard ends up dead from a drug overdose.

    Sleeping Dogs
    Image Credits: Paramount Movies

    Roy finds Richard’s unfinished book, which hints at some shady stuff involving a professor named Joe Wieder and his student Laura.

    Joe was supposedly stealing Laura’s ideas and maybe even having an affair with her.

    Isaac’s conviction seems suspicious, especially since Joe’s caretaker, Wayne, wasn’t questioned enough.

    Wayne ends up dead too, making things even more confusing. Laura, who now calls herself Elisabeth Westgate, adds to the confusion when Roy remembers meeting her before.

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    Roy’s old partner, Jimmy Remis, seems involved too, which makes Roy wonder if he knows more than he’s letting on about what really happened with Joe Wieder.

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    Did Laura Baines Take Joe Wieder’s Thesis Without Permission?

    So, there’s this professor named Joe Wieder, and he’s pretty popular. He’s got this student, Laura Baines, who seems to be really into him, both academically and personally.

    Now, there’s this whole thing about whether Laura took credit for Joe’s work.

    It all started when a guy named Roy Freeman wrote a book about it. Roy got his info from a guy named Richard Finn, who had a thing for Laura.

    Richard made it seem like Laura was a super smart person who knew everything about everything. He even thought Laura and Joe were up to something fishy.

    But we’re not really sure how Laura felt about Joe.

    Sleeping Dogs
    Image Credits: Paramount Movies

    She did some weird stuff, like writing her name next to Joe’s in his book and saying she actually wrote Joe’s thesis. But honestly, her claim isn’t very convincing.

    Then Joe got murdered, which was pretty shocking. And suddenly, Laura’s career took off. She published a book and changed her name to Elisabeth Westlake.

    Her excuse was that her real name got tangled up in Joe’s murder mess, but that sounds pretty weak because nobody thought she did it.

    Laura might’ve actually stolen Joe’s work after he died. She got this guy named Wayne to kill Richard when he was about to expose her.

    So, it seems like Laura was trying to cover up her tracks.

    And she didn’t stop there. She also gave Roy a tape of Joe having an affair with someone’s wife.

    Maybe she did it out of anger, or maybe she wanted to keep Roy from finding out the truth about her stealing Joe’s work. It’s hard to say for sure.

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    Why Wayne Tried to Harm Roy in Sleeping Dogs?

    Wayne wanted to erase the bad memories from his time in Iraq. When Joe offered him a fresh start by working for him, Wayne was grateful.

    He hoped the pills Joe gave him would help him forget the trauma. But when the pills caused bad side effects, Wayne stopped taking them. He didn’t blame Roy for what happened.

    But things got worse when Laura manipulated Wayne’s fears. Roy started looking into the case again, and Wayne felt like everyone suspected him.

    Laura convinced Wayne that Roy and Richard were a threat because they knew about her shady dealings.

    Sleeping Dogs
    Image Credits: Paramount Movies

    She made Wayne think that Richard’s book accused him of being the killer. Wayne, feeling pressured and scared, tried to run Roy over with his car.

    Later, it became clear that Laura was behind everything. She wanted to silence Roy and Richard to protect her reputation.

    The fentanyl found in Wayne’s car suggested she had made him kill Richard too.

    Even if Wayne told the truth, it would be hard to believe him over someone like Laura, who was respected in the community.

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    Was Roy Freeman Really The One Who Committed The Murder in Sleeping Dogs?

    If Alzheimer’s disease wipes away memories and memories shape who a person is, then does Alzheimer’s take away the person too?

    It seems like the Roy Freeman we meet is the one from before he made any big mistakes.

    Without his memories, Roy’s natural instinct is to save Isaac’s life because his gut feeling as a cop tells him to believe the man on death row.

    The experimental treatment poking around in his head appears to be working, as his memories resurface in unsettling flashes, even though he doesn’t remember them.

    Each lead he follows is mysterious, but none really match someone who could commit a violent act like beating a man to death with a baseball bat.

    The only person who seems to fit, if he’s not the killer himself, is Jimmy Remis, Roy’s old partner.

    Since losing his job due to a drunk driving accident and losing his memories, Roy has lost touch with Jimmy.

    The person he’s more familiar with is too kind to be someone he suspects. But there’s one nagging question: why were all the legal documents signed by Jimmy and not both partners?

    When Roy faces Jimmy’s gun because he found the murder weapon, he’s torn between believing the man he knows now and Laura’s accusations that make sense.

    Jimmy needed money for his wife’s treatment, which wasn’t covered by the department’s health fund.

    It seems plausible that Jimmy was threatening Laura for money. But Roy’s memories don’t leave out the horror when they come back.

    Fortunately, his doctor sheds some light. Jimmy confessed to him before dying from Laura’s bullet, but there weren’t enough clues to solve the puzzle yet.

    Everything comes full circle when a broken picture frame reveals a picture of Roy’s wife and him.

    Roy’s wife, Diane, used to bartend at a place he frequented when he was a cop. Around the time Laura’s killing spree started, Roy was involved with Diane.

    Laura didn’t want to get her hands dirty, so she pushed Roy to kill his wife’s lover. Roy finished the job with a baseball bat to the head. His partner Jimmy helped him cover it up.

    In the end of “Sleeping Dogs,” the consequences of Roy’s memories returning validate Richard’s view on the unreliable nature of memories.

    The new beginning his memories were supposed to bring turns out to be a curse. The killer Roy is searching for is the man he sees when he looks in the mirror.

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

    What Did Roy Freeman Discover During His Investigation in Sleeping Dogs?

    Roy Freeman’s investigation into a murder case he closed ten years ago reveals a web of deceit and manipulation. He discovers clues that lead him to doubt the guilt of the convicted man, Isaac Samuel, and explores connections to a professor named Joe Wieder and his student Laura.

    Why Did Wayne Attempt to Harm Roy in Sleeping Dogs?

    Wayne, a troubled individual seeking to escape the trauma of his past, fell victim to manipulation by Laura. Feeling pressured and scared, Wayne attempted to harm Roy under Laura’s influence, believing that Roy and Richard posed a threat to her.

    Was Roy Freeman Implicated in the Murder?

    Roy Freeman faces a tough time as his memories come back, and he realizes something shocking: he was part of the murder. His search for the truth forces him to confront his own role in the crime.

    What Role Did Jimmy Remis Play in the Events?

    Jimmy Remis, Roy’s old buddy from work, gets caught up in Laura’s plans because he needs money to help his sick wife. Sadly, things don’t end well for him.

    Did Laura Baines Steal Joe Wieder’s Work?

    Laura Baines, also called Elisabeth Westlake, is accused of stealing Joe Wieder’s work as Roy investigates further. The evidence points to Laura possibly taking credit for Joe’s ideas, causing a chain of serious events.

    How Did Roy Freeman’s Alzheimer’s Disease Affect the Investigation?

    Roy Freeman’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease adds a layer of complexity to the investigation, as his fluctuating memory and struggle to distinguish reality from illusion complicate his pursuit of the truth.

    What Motivated Laura Baines to Manipulate Others?

    Laura Baines’s motives for manipulating Wayne and others stem from a desire to protect her own reputation and cover up her involvement in illicit activities. Her actions reveal a calculated effort to maintain control and evade accountability.

    What Is the Significance of Roy Freeman’s Memories Resurfacing?

    When Roy’s memories come back, it’s both good and bad. They make him realize he might have done something wrong in the murder case. This shows how memories can change how we see ourselves and others.

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    Rohit Belakud
    Rohit Belakud
    Rohit Belakud, a Law Student turned web development virtuoso, serves as the Founder and CEO of Prime Quill. With over 7 years in the field, he excels in web design, WordPress, SEO, and digital marketing. His multifaceted skills extend to authorship, where he covers diverse topics including technology, entertainment, and sports. Rohit's leadership blends legal insight with digital innovation, driving Prime Quill to new heights. A meticulous professional, he crafts compelling narratives that resonate globally, exemplifying the nexus of creativity and technology in the modern era.

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