The Insurgents (2006)

Rating: B

Dir: Scott Dacko
Star: John Shea, Michael Mosley, Juliette Marquis, Henry Simmons

Since 9/11, the focus has inevitably been on Islamic terrorists, but it’s easy to forget that outside of the Twin Towers, the biggest terrorist attack on US soil was the very domestic Oklahoma City bombing, carried out by a white, Christian, American. This film examines a group of four people, ranging from an injured ex-GI through to charismatic writer Robert (Shea), who band together to stage a similar attack, believing that – to quote Thomas Jefferson – “The tree of liberty must be refreshed time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” However, the man chosen to be the driver, James (Mosley), is not entirely convinced that violence is the best way forward, and tries to dissuade his colleagues from proceeding with their plan, not least because his girlfriend and co-conspirator Hana (Marquis) is now expecting their child. However, that probably isn’t his biggest motivation for wanting to stop things…

If you’re looking for a cinematic version of 24…keep right on looking, for this is a good deal talkier, much more concerned about the “why?” of terrorism than the “what?” As such, Shea has to bear the bulk of the heavy lifting as the cell’s ideological axle, confronting and answering the doubts of the members and reinforcing their philosophy. As such, it does occasionally sound like a website rather than a movie, though makes its own convincing points – the original founding fathers may have been ‘insurgents,’ as much as any resident of Fallujah – and it’s always interesting to listen to, at least, providing you have a politically open-mind. There are a couple of twists, happening almost back-to-back, that certainly made us sit up and take notice, and everything that happens from there on possesses a higher degree of urgency. It’s a chilling glimpse of what the future of America may possibly hold.