Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is it.. Unthinkable?

In some ways "Unthinkable" comes off like a longer, bloodier, episode of "Law & Order." It is a film concerned with a legal/moral issue of our day where the characters tend to be more spokesmen for the various positions than characters. The question in this case is over torture. In particular, a terrorist has hidden three nuclear bombs somewhere. They will go off very soon. On the one hand we have Samuel L. Jackson as the interrogator, and on the other we have Carrie-Anne Moss as the FBI agent with a conscience.

It's a little unfair in a way to have Samuel L. Jackson as the guy doing the torture. He has such a powerful charisma that it's hard not to see things his way. But on the other hand, you do need someone that can be sympathic when the point of view he espouses is so morally repugnant, otherwise you'll likely turn off the argument after the first finger gets cut off.

The film builds a lot of suspense because of the slippery slope of the argument. Ok, we caught the guy but we didn't read him his right. Ok, we've strapped him down, but we need to right? Ok, we are hurting him, but it's for the nation so that's right, right? Where does this progression end. Do we torture his wife? His kids?

In between this we learn more about Jackson's character and really he takes control of the film. That's not bad, but i wonder if that is how the screen writer envisioned it. I certainly liked it, and judgement bear was cool about it.

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