Synyster Graves

Unthinkable

by on Nov.03, 2010, under Further Down The Rabit Hole

Right, so this film went straight to DVD, so I should have seen it coming. However, the producer, Caldecot Chubb, insisted that the film had a theatrical release date but “the deal collapsed in the financial crisis and the distribution company went belly-up”, I quote. Sounds reasonable enough, and plus a film starring Samuel L Jackson and Carrie-Anne Moss can’t be all that bad? Also starring, and with a great performance, is Michael Sheen who has been praised to high heaven as an actor but I have to embarrassingly admit I’ve never seen one of his films before this.

That’s about all I can say in favour of this film. I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent however I obviously didn’t understand this film at all, or at least I hope that’s the case because if what I understood was as deep as the film was meant to get, then the film shouldn’t have even got off paper let alone to DVD. The problem with this film is like no other gripe I’ve had before. Usually a film fails because the acting is awful or the writing doesn’t make sense, or the story is boring but this film just went nowhere. You watch the film for a good 97 minutes and there is no reason d’ĂȘtre; no progression; no point; nothing. Even my most hated film at the moment, Avatar, has a plot. Granted, it’s not a very good plot, a copied plot, a plot that’s an amalgamation of other good stories, but at least it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s a story. There is a point to the film. It goes somewhere. Unthinkable however, does not.

As I mentioned, there was no ‘point’ to this film. No one won, no one learnt anything, no one had an epiphany, there was no great vengeance, no evil quashed, no great revelations, no ‘coming to terms’ with anything, there was nothing. The film ended and no one character had progressed. I’ve complained about films such as Cloverfield which took character progression or development too far and this made the film stagnant and boring but Unthinkable just didn’t develop at all.

Essentially the film is about an American born former Delta Force soldier who has converted to Islam and is now a terrorist. He manages to plant three nuclear bombs in various big cities around the US. The FBI, CIA and the army are then called in to find him. The terrorist, played by Michael Sheen, sends in a video to the authorities in which he declares that he has made the bombs with 4 pounds of Uranium in each and has set them to detonate in 3 days if his terms are not met. He however gives no terms for the authorities to pander to. Odd, no? The next day, the terrorist walks into a shopping mall and stands in front of a security camera until someone recognizes him from all the news reports and calls the police, who then arrest him.

Now for the spoiler, however; I implore you not to watch this film as it’s so bad, and with that thinking, I’m really helping you not spoiling it for you. But back to the plot: Carrie-Anne Moss plays Agent Helen Brody, a conscientious FBI agent who is tasked with leading the investigation in finding the bombs. She is taken to a deserted school building where the army and the CIA are holding Yusuf, the terrorist. Samuel L Jackson plays H, who is a CIA torture specialist and what ensues for the rest of the film is H torturing Yusuf, pulling finger nails off, electrocuting him and all that. Although you never see the actual torture, it just focuses on Martin Sheens face as he screams in agony.

While all this is happening, the CIA finds out that 16 pounds of Uranium went missing from Russia, and that our ex Delta has obviously had help from someone, but they still don’t know who. There’s a lot more torturing, H brings in Yusufs wife and to the disgust of his superiors and Agent Brody, he kills the wife in front of them all. But Yusuf still won’t give the location of the bombs. Eventually, with only a few hours left until the bombs detonate, H brings in Yusufs two children and says he’s going to kill them slowly in front of him. Only then does Yusuf yield and tell the interrogators exactly where the bombs are. H proceeds to get ready to kill the children anyway while everyone else is screaming at him not to. His reason being that they know there was 16 pounds of Uranium missing. Yusuf said there was 4 pounds in each bomb. 16 pounds divided into 4 pounds in each bomb = 4 bombs, not 3 bombs. Is there only one character in this movie who can count? I worked this out 20 minutes into the film when they discovered the missing Uranium. H was stopped from killing the children and gives up, saying it’s all pointless (ironic). He then lets Yusuf out of his chains, a US Senator is in with the interrogations and he pulls a gun saying no one is letting Yusuf go. Yusuf then steals the gun and shoots himself in the head.

Anyway, we finish the film with a scene where one of the original bombs is being disarmed, the camera then pans into a side cupboard where there is a close up of the fourth bomb counting down to zero. Cut to credits. I really hope I missed the point, because the point wasn’t ‘torture is bad’, because they wouldn’t have got the three original bomb locations without it. Neither was the point ‘torture is good’, as the fourth bomb went off anyway, so what was the point? No character progressed or learnt anything so in essence nothing really of interest happened. Another point that I really don’t understand is why would Yusuf let himself be captured knowing full well that they’d torture him to obtain the locations of the bombs. This would have made sense if he was going to “expose” someone by making it public knowledge that he was tortured. And then after it hit the press, then some heads would roll; hippies would get up in arms about how the country is being run etc… However this never happened and he knew it wouldn’t, so he was going to get tortured and die for no reason at all? And he knew that. I don’t understand. This is yet another film that gets an awful 0 stars from me.

0 Stars

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2 Comments for this entry

  • Synyster Graves

    How did they get this film signed off? It sounds awful and just ANOTHER film which is trying to market itself purely on shock value alone. I think the only irony is that if you asked someone would they watch it again, your answer would be “no, that would be unthinkable”. Sounds like trash, consider it avoided.

  • Whyte Rabit

    lol it’s really bad, I think I’m going to need a “minus star” scale if I keep watching this many poor films. If I give them all 0 stars it doesn’t differentiate between the “really bad” and the “my eyes are bleeding bad”!

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