Friday, July 21, 2017

Film Review: Unthinkable (2010)

Unthinkable (Review)
United States/2010
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

" of the better time-killers I've recently watched."

A black-ops negotiator and an FBI agent attempt to interrogate a suspected terrorist who has threatened to detonate nuclear bombs in three cities...

Unthinkable follows an American Muslim man and former Delta Force operator named Yusuf (Michael Sheen), formerly known as Stephen Arthur Younger. Yusuf has made a tape announcing his plans to detonate nuclear bombs in three American cities if his demands, which he doesn't name, aren't met. Yusuf is captured at a mall and taken to a high school, which has been turned into a black site. At the school, starry-eyed FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie Ann-Moss) is asked to find the bombs while "H" (Samuel L. Jackson) conducts his interrogation, which is really torture in its purest form. The main theme of the plot revolves around our morals—good and bad, black and white. It asks some interesting questions, too. Unfortunately, I felt like it led to an unfulfilling ending.

Unthinkable is a fast-paced, nerve-shredding thriller. From the beginning, it stays on its feet and never stops moving. Its plot is simple—sometimes even a bit heavy-handed—but it is effective. The suspense is fantastic, keeping you at the edge of your seat. The violence is gruesome, making you ask: what is the unthinkable? Its themes have been done many times before, but the questions it presents are always intriguing. (When it ccomes to questioning the morals of war, I felt like Eye in the Sky did it better.) My only issues come from the occasional poor line of dialogue, the heavy-handed themes (some subtlety would have been appreciated), and the ending.

The acting was mostly great. Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Sheen performed very well. They're characters are a bit cliché—at least "H" felt generic—but they delivered strong performances. Carrie Ann-Moss lands somewhere in the middle. She's more than often serviceable, but she doesn't really seem to have the emotional range for this performance. The film was shot well and the music was good. The film was written by Oren Moverman and Peter Woodward, and directed by Gregor Jordan. The writing was mostly effective, but it was simple—to a fault. There is no subtlety to it, but it really tries to pretend its subtle for its ending. Not a big fan of that. Jordan performed very well as the director, though, creating a fast-paced and entertaining thriller.

Overall, Unthinkable is a great film. I had a few issues with the plot, it's not perfect, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't entertained. In fact, this is one of the better time-killers I've recently watched. The film went by in the blink of an eye thanks to its simple plot, fast-pace, never-ending suspense, and strong performances. Highly recommended for fans of the genre.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood, including graphic depictions of torture.

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