Jun

21

If you are looking for a movie that is completely unexpected (or at least you wish it were unexpected), one that will force you to confront the reality of your beliefs, Unthinkable is the movie for you.

I will state right at the beginning of this review that this movie is a must see. It was stunning, breathtaking and a slew of other adjectives that I won't bother to write.

I said at the beginning of this review that this movie was "unexpected". It was…..in that you'd never expect a movie like this to come out of Hollywood. I also stated that you wish it were unexpected, because it makes us face a reality that we all know and fear could be real, but are not willing speak out loud or acknowledge in polite company.

Not to spoil the plot (you can read the jacket cover to get this much), but you have a terrorist (played brilliantly by Michael Sheen) who claims to have planted 3 nuclear devices in three different US cities. You have an FBI agent Helen Brody played by Carrie-Anne Moss (of Matrix fame) brought in to help with the interrogation. Already present at the interrogation is the man known only as "H" (played by Samuel L. Jackson).

Sheen represents all that is evil in the world. Moss represents that which is supposed to be good. Jackson represents all that we could become, but hope we never have to. Jackson is revealed to be the man that none of us want to acknowledge exists, but we all secretly hope does. He is the man with the expertise and skill necessary to derive information………..he tortures his victims until they tell us what we want know.

When Brody see's what "H" does she confronts him ("Torture doesn't work. You torture them enough, they'll tell you what they think you want to hear to make the pain stop!"), Jackson is cool and pragmatic ("If torture doesn't work, why have we been doing it for thousands of years?"), and goes about his business.

As I watched this movie, I was initially struck with how it was shaping up to be another PC Hollywood claptrap….with the usual left wing propaganda BS about how "America is bad". Yes, the movie did have a lot of Political Correctness…….but before long, you were sucked into the reality of what a PC point of view really means………quiet literally, slapped in the face with it.

The reality that slaps you in the face, over and over and over again during this intense movie is simply this: How far are you willing to go?

The movie forces you to face the reality of that question and, quite literally, takes you through the process, step by step, of what it means to go down that path.

And it doesn't pull punches. It doesn't leave gray area's for later debate. It takes a nightmare scenario and makes it one of the worst possible situations you can think of. It doesn't let us off the hook by making the terrorist an "unlawful military combatant from a foreign country". He's an American citizen, a former military guy with special forces expertise. It doesn't avoid the obvious and pretend that terrorist is one of those extremely rare apparitions of the left (i.e. a Christian conservative extremist), the terrorist is a Muslim.

But to take it a step further, he's a natural born American, who looks, acts and talks like an American……and he's white. They make it clear that he has all the rights of an American Citizen….but that he's also a man who has planted 3 nuclear bombs in three major metropolitan areas. They are also clear that it is estimated that 10 million American's will die when those bombs explode.

So those with a left leaning point of view are put through the ringer when they have to face the reality of the failure of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and weigh the lives of 10 million people against the "rights" of this one man.

Similarly, those that lean to the right are put through the ringer by having to face the reality of what it truly means to torture a human being.

Whether you're a card carrying member of the ACLU, or a Mitch Rapp loving Vince Flynn fan, you will feel like you are in the torture chamber and "H" is working on you, except in your case, you are being forced to watch what it means to really find out, "just how far are you willing to go".

And that takes us to the title of the movie. "Unthinkable". Why "Unthinkable"? Why that name?

Because it makes you confront the unthinkable……and yes, it really, really does!

The movies doesn't let us off the hook with any kind of a plot twist. That would be way to easy (and quite frankly, exactly what I'd expect from Hollywood). This movie grabs you by the throat, forces your eyes open and makes you watch what you don't want to see, what you don't think a human being can do, and what any of us would pray should never happen.

And I'll tell you now, it's not the gore that it makes you face. No, the gore is not "unthinkable". Although there is a lot of blood in this movie, there isn't any true "gore". There isn't a last minute rescue or reprieve…..each and every time you think you're off the hook, you are brutally confronted with reality that is "the next step"……steps that eventually become, "Unthinkable".

If you think about what a movie would NEVER EVEN DEPICT….what Hollywood would never even allow to be brought out to the light of day in anyway other than to show just how bad and evil America is (which is not what this movie does) then you'd know what you're about to be confronted with.

In the last 30 minutes of this movie, it became very clear to me where it was going to go and what was going to have to happen. When that crystallized in my mind, I grabbed the remote and hit the pause button…….for I had to make a decision. I had to decide whether or not I was going to be able to watch what I knew was coming. Even though I was confident that the movie maker would handle it discreetly and there would be very little gore…….I was actually confident that there would be little or no actual scenes of violence regarding what I knew was coming (and I was right, there wasn't)….still it was enough to give me pause and think about whether I was willing to go where "H" was going to take me.

"H" set the scale beautifully. He masterfully weighed the rights of one man on one side of the scale, against the lives of 10 million on the other side of the scale. He was clear about what he was doing and in his mind he was doing nothing more than saving 10 million lives. Samuel L. Jackson played the role of "H" with breathtaking perfection, drawing you into his world of "torture as a means to an end". As the movie progresses, it is clear that even though this is a job to "H", he is ultimately just a man. He was not a sadist, nor did he seem to enjoy what he was doing. But it was clear to him that it had to be done. What he was doing was merely a means to an end. But it is very clear what effect the "means" have on the human being that they call "H".

Watching "H" pull Agent Brody (Moss) down into her own personal Hell is unbelievable. Brody is appalled that a man like "H" exists…..at first……then she is forced deeper into the abyss. She finds "H" and his techniques vile, but if forced to confront the reality of weighing the rights of the terrorist against the lives of 10 million. The inner turmoil she experiences leaps through the screen at the viewer and you can personally sense the revulsion she feels as that question weighs on her very soul.

And Sheen is everything that you don't want in a terrorist. He is a maniacal psychopath one minute, and a loving family man the next. He is a sadistic animal and yet has a human side. Sheen is absolutely brilliant in this role.

As I watched this movie, I kept waiting for the Hollywood plot twist. I kept waiting for the PC world of the ACLU to win out and save the day. But, much to my surprise, and I'm sure to the surprise of all who don't think much of "left-leaning Hollywood", it didn't happen. Even the last 13 seconds of the movie…..right down to the last second……it didn't happen.

But that doesn't mean that the right got off easy, either. You want to know what it means to find out "Just how far are you willing to go?" You want to know what torture means and just how far you may have to go? Watch this movie and you'll find out what that really means.

This movie is a must see for every thinking American, no matter what you're political persuasion.

There are a few obvious plot holes in the movie, but those are easily overlooked if one appreciates the overarching theme of the movie. The counters amongst us will notice an egregious counting error early on in the movie (that is revealed later in the movie)……although it is necessary for the plot, one would hope that this kind of counting error wouldn't occur in real life.

But all that aside, "Unthinkable" is a movie that gets a thumbs up from me!

Prudish Dad alert: This movie is NOT for the kids, the squeamish, or those that prefer to live in a Pollyanna world. There is no nudity, or sexual content. But there is pervasive language and intense scenes of violence (and I do mean intense). There are also thematic issues that are not appropriate for anyone under the age of 15. I may consider letting my oldest son watch the movie (he's 15), but I doubt it. My wife would kill me if I let him see it.

If you're old enough (repeat: NOT FOR THE KIDS), and are willing to face what we all hope and pray we never have to face, then "Unthinkable" is a must see!


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4 Comments so far

  1. anatoly on November 1, 2010 1:00 am

    The most important movie idea is : radicals ( muslims )are not afraid , are willing to go all the way to the victory , and the only way for Americans to stop them is to show that we will not stop either ,as “H” does , and if they want this war America will go all the way also and destroy them with all its might .
    That’s the only way , not the sloppy discussions .
    So far , they are winning .

  2. anatoly on November 1, 2010 2:41 am

    Why moderation ??! Is it because word MUSLIM was used ?
    Is there any difference between moderating and censoring ?
    Somebody wants to be politically correct ?
    That's what I was talking about ! Radicals don't need to be ,
    liberals do , that's why America will lose , unless we understand and change the attitude . Possible when the country will be under Sharia law

     [Ed.: all comments to Dailyspec.com undergo moderation].

  3. afnan on September 15, 2011 3:39 pm

    Wow, a nice critical view.

    for me, i was one of those who refuse the Consequentialism, but this particular incident (terrorist) I’m pro Consequentialism. However, H torture the man and he wasn’t even sure that there were 3 nuclear bombs! The process of torture shouldn’t done unless if they sure, and whatever that torture is doesn’t matter since it will save 10 millions people.

  4. Anonymous on October 22, 2012 7:59 pm

    I watched the film and it scared me because the way I see it is that if you are suspected as a terrorist in real life then this is what could happen and what happened of there were no bombs? Then they would have the power to kill and torture him and his family for nothing. Basically if you are a suspected of being a ‘terrorist’ you can expect to be tortured. There was a documentary about how they tortured people in Guantanamo bay that I watched on tv and the guys being tortured were freed because eventually they were found not guilty. The world will go back to the Spanish Inquisition days. I believe the film promotes the idea that anybody who is a ‘terrorist’ will be tortured to the fullest if need be. No more human rights. America will become extremely powerful and announce a new world order and anyone not compliying will be deemed a terrorist and this is what to expect- do or die. No court of law - just straight house arrest like what is going on now. think about your rights. On the other hand there are real terrorists but God promised the earth will not end with bombs but with fire. So far the bible has been spot on with earths timeline and history. It’s all in the book of revelation where it talks about beasts and dragons - they signify counties and powers that will set a new world order and anybody not complying will be put to death and have no rights and will be - terrorists. Peace and go investigate what I have written please.

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