From director Gregor Jordon comes a powerful & emotional movie, Unthinkable which is a suspense thriller with political themes running through it. The movie is about the torture of a man who threatens to detonate 3 nuclear bombs in 3 different cities in the United States. Due to controversial nature, the movie went direct to dvd release and on a budget of just $15 dollars made back just $5.5 million. Which is a shame as this is a good film with a good cast which includes Samuel L Jackson, Michael Sheen, Carrie-Anne Moss, Gil Bellows, Brandon Routh, Martin Donovan , Randy Ogelsby & Stephen Root. Tv actors Sasha Roiz, Benito Martinez & Dayo Ade have smaller roles.
A former Delta Force Operator and bomb squad expert name Stephen Younger is now an Islamic convert calling himself Yousef Atta Mohammed and records a video tape of himself showing 3 nuclear bombs he has built himself that he has placed in 3 different cities and which he plans to detonate if his demands are not met. FBI in Los Angeles, led by Special Agent Helen Brody are investigating news reports of Yousef on various channels when she and her team are called by Assistant Director Jack Saunders to a highly classified location ( a former school converted to be the base of operations & interrogation) to assist the military interrogate Yousef, who was apprehended at a mall. The man in charge of the interrogation is Henry Harold Humphries aka ‘H’, a black-ops officer, who was erroneously also investigated by FBI agents just prior to this assignment. H hacks off one of Yousef’s fingers as he felt the soldier who was hitting the terrorist till then was not doing any damage and sets the tone of the torture. As Brody protests in shock her superiors are told that with a potential loss of over 10 million lives at stake, H has license to get the results by any means necessary.
H proceeds using Brody as the “good cop” giving breaks in between torture so she can try and convince Yousef to give them the location of the bomb before they are due to detonate. Yousef then makes his demands; he wants to US President to immediately stop all funding & support to all “puppet governments” & dictatorships in the Muslim countries and for the immediate withdraw of American soldiers from the Islamic nations. The group decides that dismisses the possibility of his demands being met, citing the United States’ declared policy of not negotiating with terrorists. Brody gets some info from Yousef when she accuses him of trying to make a point about the US foreign policy; he gives her the location of one of the bombs but on arrival they see the place empty. On the roof however a soldier removes a photo from a switch inadvertently detonating a bomb in a shopping mall. 53 people are killed with more wounded. An angry Brody cuts Yousef’s chest with a knife but he encourages her to continue claiming that America kills the same number of people everyday. It is soon evident that Yousef wanted to be caught so he could face his “oppressors”.
H continues his torture and then demand that Yousef’s wife & kids be found; they had planned to leave for Saudi Arabia but their visa was declined at the last minute, unknown to Yousef. H threatens to mutilate Yousef’s wife in front of him but is stopped but before the others can lead her away, a desperate H slashes her throat and she bleeds to death on the floor. Although H is restrained and hit by his assistant, Alvarez another soldier, he is still in charge. He has Yousef’s two young kids brought in and has Yousef dragged out in his wheelchair. H promises the others that he won’t harm the children but that Yousef needs to believe that he will, he locks himself in the interrogation room with the kids and straps them in. Yousef frightened that H will torture them tells them of the three locations with addresses. However H does not stop forcing the others to intervene but H has a revelation of his own – citing the amount of nuclear material that Yousef procured he has enough for 4 bombs. H deduces that Yousef, having planned everything meticulously so far, knew he would be tortured and might crack so he only told them about the 3 bombs keeping a 4th in secret. Bradley the government official in charge of operations demands that the kids be brought back so H can continue the interrogation. H asks that Brody herself bring them, which she refuses so H cuts off Yousef’s restrints in mock gesture, saying that he has won.
Bradley has a gun pulled on H but Yousef uses the distraction to grab the official’s gun and kills himself, asking Brody to take care of his kid. The group disperses as the 3 bombs are found and deactivated and Brody takes Yousef’s children away and leaves the building. However in the extended version of the film, a 4th bomb is shown ticking down the seconds before explosion as the credits roll. Fantastic acting by a stellar cast of actors. Jackson, Sheen & Moss especially were outstanding in their roles and among others, Ogelsby deserves special mention. The film asks the questions about terrorism and politics and just how far is one willing to go in the fight against terrorism? Will people flinch when expected to go to any lengths to get the information from a known terrorist when a lot of lives are at stake? Brutal and blunt, I give it a 9 outta 10 for the solid acting alone, although an 8 outta 10 will be reasonable for the movie as a whole!