Wed 27 Mar 2013
We are in the same world as in the ’24′ series. America is again under attack and the good guys are again in a race against the clock in order to detect the exact location of the threats and neutralize them. The vision of the script is however so simplistic and one sided that nothing really interesting happens in ‘Unthinkable’ despite the amount of money and talent invested in it. The film is labeled as ‘psychological thriller’ but exactly the psychology complexity specific to the genre is completely missing. The thrill to the extend it exists comes from the usual action movies sources. The moral dilemma of allowing or not torture is dealt with at comics books level.
If we try to detach the film from what we know about politics it’s not however a bad film of all. As an action thriller with a violence that touches the territories of horror it works pretty well. However the flaws of the vision leave their print on the story and especially on the characters. Two interrogators, one from the FBI closer in approach to the rule of law and the classical methods of interrogation and investigation (Carrie-Anne Moss), the other a professional torturer in the service of the good causes (Samuel L. Jackson) make an ‘unthinkable’ team and will be put in the situation to use the ‘unthinkable’ methods in order to extract information from a terrorist who planted atomic bombs in populated areas of the US. The latest however (Michael Sheen) is the weakest character in the movie, we never get any explanation about the reasons that led an average American young to become a potential mass-murderer of historic dimensions. Even 24 made a much better job in depicting some of its evil heroes.
I expected this film from a few years, because I liked a lot director Gregor Jordan‘s Buffalo Soldiers. His director hand just improved in the years that passed, but what a difference in vision, from the subtle irony, the comic threads and the anti-militaristic approach of that movie then and the routine simplistic action movie approach in Unthinkable now. The good team of actors do their job with the talent you expect from their names, this film barely passes the threshold of ‘acceptable’ due to the simplistic script and schematic situations the characters are facing and to the way they resolve them.