Tuesday 14 September 2010


Now out on DVD and Blu-Ray is this Samuel L. Jackson starring thriller.
Watch the trailer and find out more after the jump...

When an angry former patriot (Michael Sheen) who has placed bombs in three cities across America is captured by Los Angeles' Counter Terrorism Unit, it's up to a renegade interrogator (Samuel L. Jackson) to beat the whereabouts and other information out of him.

It's an interesting enough idea, but there's a big elephant in the room with a digital clock around its neck, going 'bip, bip, bip, bip'. The story is nothing but a discarded plot strand for 24, with Samuel L. Jackson's ruthless interrogator standing in for Jack Bauer. They've even put '24' on the cover to confuse people even further.

If there's one thing you can say about Samuel L. Jackson, it's that he'll never turn down the opportunity to work. The man's incredibly prolific for a seasoned actor in his 60's, but with that comes a wildly varying degree of quality. Mr Jackson is always worth watching, and he does certainly have a screen presence, but even he can't raise the quality of some of the films in which he appears. Unthinkable is a Republican's nightmare, where all you want to do is beat answers out of someone, but Carrie Anne Moss' government agent wants to use all the correct channels and protect human rights. This is where Samuel L. Jackson steps in with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Yes, it does carry a message about the sometimes necessary lengths their highly trained soldiers will go to to get information out of people, but that's a terribly right wing message to put across. Its agenda is clear, but I don't necessarily agree with the message it offers.

There is a talented cast that are mostly wasted. Michael Sheen is always good and often great, but he's a very unlikely terrorist, and isn't called upon to do much more than sit in a chair and scream. Carrie Anne Moss has got a crack team of CTU operatives behind her including Superman Returns' Brandon Routh and Ally McBeal's Gil Bellows, but they are confined to a back room where they can't contribute to the story.

It's mostly Sam Jackson's show, but his character is extremely unlikable at all times. He's not standing up for my freedom by chopping a man's finger off; he's a lunatic with a government paycheque. Director Gregor Jordan has made good films in the past, most notably Two Hands and Buffalo Soldiers, but this story will seem all too familiar to anyone who's seen a series of 24.

A slow paced by-the-numbers thriller with no major revelations or with anything new to say. I almost wish this was a 24 plot, because say what you will about Jack Bauer; he would have had this thing wrapped up within the hour.


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