Unthinkable Gregor Jordan

Unthinkable Gregor Jordan
Unthinkable falls firmly into the almost good category. It's quite attractive in principle: a brutal, strident, continuous duel between psycho terrorist (Michael Sheen) and psycho interrogator (Samuel L. Jackson) intermediated by a power-woman FBI agent (Carrie-Anne Moss) that variously deploys gratuitous violence, gore, war, terrorism, nuclear bombs, torture, human rights, American bravado, insane Muslims and Arabs (yawn) and mind-fuckery, moving gradually from theory to practice. Who could resist a prospect so rich with ridiculous potential? Too bad this snooze fest doesn't actually go anywhere or provide new insight into the timely subject of post-9/11 terrorism. Or entertain you in the slightest. The performances are overlong and repetitive (about 30 minutes of processed moaning could have been cut); there are long portions of one-idea jamming that can't hold audience interest ("Don't torture him! We're humans!" multiplied by 20 occurrences); and the increasing stagnation of "ethics" into scenes of sub-generic torture tropes is pretty evident. But, least excusably, it's just lacking that certain spark, that necessity, that edge that makes a good political suspense thriller. It's not like director Gregor Jordan doesn't attempt to infuse Unthinkable with fire (the interrogation and torture scenes are just gruesome enough to satisfy the sicko in all of us). But the disconnect between footage and script is distracting at best, and daft at worst ― rather than Jordan bothering to film a bomb explosion aftermath himself, he cheaply uses actual archival news footage. That's so TV of him! Michael Sheen performs at 100 percent, as usual, but Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie-Anne Moss look so uncomfortable with the lack of direction their awkwardness is blatantly perceivable. Don't get me wrong; the film isn't terrible, but all it can do is remind you of those that do it better, and there are plenty of them to watch. DVD extras include an alternate ending (which sucks just as much as the actual ending) and an uninspired director commentary. (E1)