Journey to the End of Night starts bad, with an attack on a drag queen, and ends worse, with a never-ending slo-mo shoot-out so convoluted it's difficult to care which characters live or die. The setup, involving a high-level coke deal, a suitcase full of money, father-and-son brothel owners, and various innocents caught in their path is prime crime fodder. But the details are so weepy and melodramatic that the grime of São Paolo's slums brings to mind an X-rated Dickens knockoff more than the backdrop for a sleek thriller. Cutting between the different characters as they try to find the suitcase would seem the perfect opportunity to ratchet the tension, but the action is either so confusing or so predictable that it quickly becomes tedious. The dead-serious corny characters, including an angelic wife and her wide-eyed rug rat son, aren't at all appealing. Scott Glenn, Brendan Fraser, and Mos Def have been horribly miscast and deliver surprisingly wooden and unconvincing performances; goofy everyman Fraser seems particularly unsuited to play a volatile drugged-up criminal out for revenge. Director Eric Eason seems more interested in attaining the grandiosity of a Michael Mann drama than a dirty little potboiler, where the story's greatest strengths lie.