The Unthinkable (CREDIT: Magnet Releasing)

Starring: Christoffer Nordenrot, Lisa Henni, Jesper Barkselius, Pia Halvorsen

Director: Crazy Pictures

Running Time: 129 Minutes

Rating: Unrated, But PG-13-Level for General Disaster Movie Energy

Release Date: May 7, 2021 (Theaters and On Demand)

If you’ve ever seen M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 eco-thriller The Happening and thought, “I like this, but I wish it were more Swedish,” then The Unthinkable just might be the movie for you! The Happening is frequently dinged as one of the twist-meister’s silliest efforts, but it does feature striking images of people inexplicably shooting themselves and walking off the roofs of skyscrapers. The Unthinkable ramps that energy up to 11 with its scrumptious selection of chaotic vehicular pile-ups. One sequence plays out like the highway chase from Bad Boys 2, but as if Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were just sitting in their squad car, gaping on as the mayhem crashes in on them. But unlike the typical wham-bam actioner, we’re invited to linger upon this violence and truly ponder why society is suddenly crumbling into apocalyptic chaos right before our eyes.

This phenomena remains unexplained for a while, which is positively chilling. Eventually we do learn the cause behind all the calamities, even though I for one probably would not have recommended straying from the ambiguity. But the explanation we do get is a doozy: it turns out there’s some sort of agent in the rain that makes people forgetful in a way that’s likened to “getting Alzheimer’s in 15 minutes.” The Russians are the suspected culprits.

Honestly, at this point, this actually sounds more American than Swedish, save for the fact that it’s taking place against the backdrop of the Midsummer holiday. Also, there’s some sort of domestic drama wherein a fellow named Alex (Christoffer Nordenrot) is dealing with the fallout of growing up with his abusive father Björn (Jesper Barkselius). Plus, Alex may or may not still be carrying a flame for his childhood friend (Lisa Henni). I’m not sure what all of that backstory adds, but it’s at least interesting that The Unthinkable is basically three movies in one. Ultimately, though, I just care a lot more about the business with the sudden-onset Alzheimer’s and kind of wish Alex were also more focused on solving that mystery.

The Unthinkable is Recommended If You Like: The Happening, Melodramatic family drama, The cinematic persistence of Evil Russia

Grade: 3 out of 5 Car Crashes