Here's the story:
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.