A suspected terrorist is interrogated by a special black ops agent in an attempt to discover if his threats of three nuclear bombs planted in different US cities are real or a hoax.
After the video appears of Steven Arthur Young an American who has since changed his name and converted to Islam all the stops must be brought out to find out the truth from him and the location of the bombs.
The methods are not going to be pretty and we do end up reaching the unthinkable . . . I think the film moves at a very good pace and keeps you wondering exactly what is going to happen next. It is rather graphic at times when it comes to the violence, it doesn’t try to hide anything. It shows exactly what needed to be done in order to find out the truth from a very evil man.
Harold Henry Humphries mainly known as “H” does not hold back and really goes for it in his methods in attempting to get Steven to talk and give them information. Agent Helen Brody who works for the FBI has a very different and somewhat softer approach not really wanting to deal with H’s methods. I guess it shows though how quickly her opinions changed when she realises that she was actually being played by the prisoner.
I found the film to be engaging and interesting from start to finish. Pushing the boundaries and making you wonder exactly how often this type of thing has actually been done in order to save innocent people. Certainly thought provoking in that sense, making you question what morals even are anymore and if they should be applied to someone who is just damn right evil.
The performances in the film are another good aspect Michael Sheen who really doesn’t seem to be able to put in a bad performance is fantastic as Young. Pulling off the evil so well and the dramatic reactions in the torture scenes must have actually been very strange and difficult to film. That is certainly something that must be horrible about the set for a film like this, it must feel a little bit too real at times when the majority of the film takes place in a container and one room.
Samuel L. Jackson pulls out all of the stops as well and this is a very solid and even performance from him. It just shows how good both actors were though when in the end you are actually doubting and wondering which of them is the worst in terms of what they have done or what they are doing. That is even mentioned in the film itself which just shows how powerful it all is on the whole.
Carrie-Anne Moss was offered in a different manner and showed compassion which actually leads to a big downfall in a situation like this. I was wondering if it was on purpose having this character as a woman in terms of that she actually appears weak to begin with. I did like the change though as it certainly showed that she was now beginning to understand H a little more and what lengths had to go to.
Since watching this film I have read that it had an alternate ending, which is actually the ending I saw when watching it on Netflix UK, which certainly was even more powerful again. Overall, I must say it was a very good intense thriller with some gory scenes and good performances. Certainly a hidden gem of a thriller that was found on Netflix!