Michael Sheen was playing very well and he did a good job - as always- here. Samuel L. Jackson was very "deep" in this movie and his acting was great.
Director: Gregor Jordan
Summary: When the government gets wind of a plot to destroy America involving a trio of nuclear weapons, locations unknown, it's up to a seasoned interrogator (Samuel L. Jackson) and an FBI agent (Carrie-Anne Moss) to find out exactly where they are. A suspected terrorist who's already in custody is their only chance for a timely answer. But what will it take to get him to talk?
My Thoughts: "Unthinkable, is spot on in it's title. Because the things this character 'H' does, is exactly that. It's really hard to watch, and hard to sympathize with Younger (the terrorist) considering he has planted nuclear bombs in three American cities. Not only does this movie make you think, but it definitely has you going back and forth on your feelings of the actions taking place against Younger. Do you side with Brody, who thinks its un-human what they are doing to Younger or do you side with 'H', who see's only a terrorist and doing anything necessary to get the answer's needed? I found myself going back and forth with that question. By the end I had made up my mind. I think 'H' could have went a lot further then what he did. Thankfully Brody stepped in, in the right moment and 'H' took her advice. Great tense movie with some brutal scenes. Great acting by all, especially Sheen and Jackson. A movie worth seeing."
A convert to Islam sends the U.S. government a tape showing him in three non-descript storage rooms, each of which may contain a nuclear bomb set to detonate in less than a week. Helen Brody, an FBI agent in L.A., is tasked with finding the bombs while a CIA "consultant," known as "H," interrogates the suspect who has allowed himself to be caught. The suspect, whose wife and children have left him and disappeared, seems to know exactly what the interrogation will entail. Even as "H" ratchets up the pressure, using torture over Brody's objection, the suspect doesn't crack. Should "H" do the unthinkable, and will Brody acquiesce? Is any Constitutional principal worth possible loss of life?
Steven Arthur Younger (Michael Sheen) is the terrorist mentioned above. When he's captured the government is faced with two choices. The first is to allow the FBI interrogations unit headed by Agent Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss) do a traditional interrogation. The second choice is a man known simply as "H" (Samuel L. Jackson), who in a way is even more traditional than Brody in that some of his techniques go back to the Spanish Inquisition. Some could call H a sadist, others a surgeon. His is the governments ultimate tool in gaining much needed information.
The thing about Unthinkable is that it makes you think right up until the end. Some of you will question your own ethics by the end of this film. Where is the line drawn? Do we honor the rights of one person at the expense of fifteen million? At what point do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one? When it's all said and done you wonder who was more sane- H or his government handlers. He knew his goal and how to achieve it. The film is a moral struggle that will pull the viewer into it's tug of war of conscious. A thriller that allows you to think, which is a rare commodity today.
The film begins with an American Muslim man and former Delta Force operator named Yusuf (Sheen), formerly named Younger, making a videotape. When FBI Special Agent Helen Brody (Moss) and her team see news bulletins looking for Yusuf, they launch an investigation, which is curtailed when they are summoned to a high school, which has been converted into a black site under military command. A special interrogator, "H" (Samuel L. Jackson), is brought in to force Yusuf to reveal the locations of the nuclear bombs.
There are two versions of this movie, the first one is the direct-to-video release which has the ending where Yusuf kills himself, and the one I watched is extended version - here an FBI bomb disposal team arrives at one of the disclosed locations and resets the timer to prevent the bomb from going off and as the FBI are celebrating however, behind a nearby crate, the originally unconfirmed fourth bomb's timer counts down to zero. The screen immediately cuts to black and the credits roll. I think that the extended version is much better but it seems that the reviews are rarely written for it.
There is an aesthetic realism in this movie but that is just a mask for the absurdity of the point it tries to make... for me was nothing more than a clumsy attempt to convert people to accept torture but to remain "human".
Film you've never heard about starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carrie-Ann Moss, and Michael Sheen quietly bypasses a cinematic release in America and goes straight to DVD this summer. (Cinemas in Russia, Argentina, Netherlands and Belgium get to see it...but, come on, what chance REALLY, does it ever have of reaching an audience let alone making any money?)
Why am I hung up on this peripheral fact surrounding this film?
Because it's a veritable crime against Western Society for it to be virtually expunged from view. I rented it on a lark, and ended up being extremely grateful for following my serendipitous instincts.
Why has this happened? Is this because the film was written, acted, directed poorly? No. Not at all. Quite the contrary. The 'real' reason why this has been cast down to DVD-Purgatory is because it provokes, prods and challenges the viewer. It makes you uncomfortable; as well it should.
Here's the skinny:
An American-born Islamic Fundamentalist Steven Arthur Younger (played frenetically, with aplomb by Sheen) has announced the presence of 3 Nuclear bombs stashed in 3 unknown cities which will go off within 72 hours if his demands are not met. The consequence of which brings the annihilation of up to 10 million Americans.
Now in custody, CIA, DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), and FBI agents quietly converge to 'coerce' the location of the bombs from Younger. In desperation, they embrace torture as a 'means to an end'. As the hours and days tick away, the Torturer, (played by Jackson) resorts to ever more cruel and inhumane methods to obtain the truth; 'methods' which will shock, disgust, and challenge everyone involved.
Written by Peter Woodward, and directed by Gregor Jordan (dir. of BUFFALO SOLDIERS) this film engenders moral questions in the viewer; how humane would you be to save the lives of millions of innocent Americans? How inhumane? How far are you willing to go? And what is lost once you're there?
As the stakes escalate, and the moral polarity shifts within everyone, especially Agent Brody (played well by THE MATRIX's Moss), the conclusion ranks as one of the most nerve-shredding ones I can remember.
Some viewers, who've sated their twisted appetites on the SAW films will lump this film as one of their own; but they are clearly missing the whole point of this film. It is brutal. But it has to be, or it loses all of its meaning.
If Blockbuster still exists in your town, go and rent this film. Now. Right now. If you're in America, it's been on shelves since June of this year. Don't let the straight-to-DVD-release stigma dissuade you...after all, not seeing this film is what the majority are supposed to do.
I challenge you to swim upstream and see it.
The central premise is a suspected terrorist by the name of Yusuf, has built three nuclear bombs and placed them in three major cities in the United States. Obviously, the government is scared and since "they don't give in to terrorist demands", they decide to extract the information from him using extreme force.
Enter the mysterious character H (played by the iconic Samuel L. Jackson), and the FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss) who are called in to interrogate Yusuf (Michael Sheen in a terrific performance as the terrorist under examination). Brody and her team are assigned to help find the bombs while H is requested to question Yusuf. Samuel L Jackson does a good job by playing the "ethically correct monster" who is just doing his job.
Once H begins to brutally and inhumanely torture Yusuf (who also happens to be an American Citizen) the pain and horror can be felt by all and we question ourselves, is it right for evil to overcome another evil? There is a fine line between right and wrong in this matter but ultimately the film left me with a nasty taste in my mouth. On one hand we have the law telling us we cannot torture and on the other, we have our common sense that one man's freedom was worthless compared to the lives of millions. So, what would you pick?
The actors were alright. Carrie-Anne Moss is most famous for her role in The Matrix. It's also where she did her best work. Michael Sheen is really good. He does serious movies and silly movies, I guess whichever he's in the mood for. Sheen is the villain terrorist from the US who's going to blow everyone up unless his demands are met. I was glad to see Brandon Routh in this movie. I've recently seen Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, LOVE Zack And Miri Make A Porno, and Routh is also in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. He got shafted in Superman. He has much more charisma than Superman allowed him to have. He has a minor role in Unthinkable, but I'm hoping he has more major roles in the future. Dismount soapbox.
Even though Jackson's character started out being unlikable, as the movie picks up, he gets better. He remains calm as a number of people start losing their stuff. That's when it makes sense for him to be so cool. The torture scenes are creative. I could think of others, but nothing more creative than they used.
As there is good about the movie, there is a down or two. The dialogue is miserable through most of the film. It's sanctimonious and tacky. The casting could have been much better.
As the movie gets closer toward its closing, it has some nice little twists to it and a pretty good ending. Besides the "bring our people home" preaching, Jackson's character, H, ends up using Agent Helen Brody, Carrie-Anne Moss, for something. That's the part I love most. My wife didn't like the ending, but I like how they tell you what's actually not that important. It leaves out something that initially seems important. If you don't get the other things that are going on, you won't like the ending.
It's a straight to video for a reason. I would almost recommend it, but I did appreciate it for the end of Unthinkable. Some don't get it, though.