Sunday 2 June 2024

Movie Review: Unthinkable (2010)

Genre: Torture Drama  
Director: Gregor Jordan  
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Michael Sheen, Stephen Root  
Running Time: 97 minutes  

Synopsis: Terrorist Yusuf (Michal Sheen), a former member of Delta Force, releases a video claiming to have armed three nuclear devices for detonation in different US cities within three days, but does not reveal the locations. He then allows himself to be arrested. The FBI's Agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss) and a CIA black-ops operative known only as H (Samuel L. Jackson) are recruited to interrogate Yusuf. H is an expert at brutal torture techniques to extract information at any cost, horrifying Helen. Meanwhile, Yusuf is well-prepared for his ordeal.

What Works Well: The Peter Woodward script is charged with the debate around the efficacy of torture when countless lives are at stake. The torture scenes are suitably disturbing, and the performances by Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Sheen descend to the depths of human cruelty, starting from different origins but arriving at the same depraved destination.

What Does Not Work As Well: The balance between plot drivers and abuse tactics is never achieved. Director Gregor Jordan invests too much repetitive time in the torture chamber, well after the point is made that H and Yusuf are two sides of the same no-limits coin. Yusuf's motivations and demands are barely sketched-in, leaving a hollow space where fuel for his fire ought to reside. In a world without rules, Carrie-Anne Moss struggles to convince as the voice of reason and basic morality.

Conclusion: Plenty of pain for no appreciable gain.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome reader comments about this post.