Unthinkable [Blu-Ray] Gregor Jordan

Unthinkable [Blu-Ray] Gregor Jordan
The problem with films about hot button topics, such as torture as an interrogation technique, is the implicit medicinal properties looming over the entire production. When you go into a movie about a political issue, you know that an earful of self-righteous preaching is really all you're going to get, which makes the act of viewing daunting, like writing a final exam. Unthinkable director Gregor Jordan actually managed to make an entertaining, and underrated, film that waxed political a few years back with Buffalo Soldiers, injecting sly, dark comedy into a story about corrupt soldiers just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Unfortunately, that sense of humour is all but gone with this laboured bout of pedagogy. With broad archetypes and one-note ideologues, this essay on torture finds idealistic FBI agent Helen Brody (Carrie-Anne Moss) butting heads with torture specialist H (Samuel L. Jackson) on the handling of a Steven Arthur Younger (Michael Sheen), who has admitted to hiding three nuclear bombs throughout the United States. H pulls off Younger's fingernails and shocks his testicles while Brody flips out, makes phone calls and occasionally enters the torture room to make maternal pleas. The dialogue in between these scenes of melodrama plays out like a first-year political science debate, wherein people against torture are positioned as obnoxious hypocrites. Fortunately, all three leads do go the distance with their respective ciphers, giving some occasional hints at death between conjectural arguments, which at least invigorates the film enough to render it tolerable. Jordan discusses his motivations for making this movie on the Blu-Ray commentary track, which makes political sense, but doesn't help the fact that he left a gaping void, where narrative duality is concerned. The alternate ending included also does little to validate this screeching, heightened rant about American politics, merely shifting around some incidental events. (eOne)