Unbreakable is a 2000 American superhero drama film written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. You know M. Night, right? He is most recently known for the live-action version of The Last Airbender, After Earth, and The Happening.
All of which were classics.
Either that, or you know him from his well-liked film, The Sixth Sense.A lot seemed to enjoy Signs as well.
The film stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. It received mixed-reviews from critics, but like a lot of Shyamalan's films, it has developed an admirable cult-following over the years. In the movie, Shyamalan sought to parallel a comic book's traditional three-part story structure. This is an origin story, and thus far, there is no signs of there ever being a sequel. I suppose there's always a chance.
In the story, Elijah Price, played by Samuel L. Jackson, has a disease where his bones break very easily. He draws on comic-books to theorize that if he is frail to such an extremity, there must be someone that is "unbreakable".
Meanwhile, Bruce Willis has the role of a security guard named David Dunn. As far as he knows he is an ordinary man, but when he survives a train-crash things change. Everybody else on the train died, but Dunn didn't even have a scratch on him.
He starts to wonder about himself. Elijah Price also starts to wonder about him. This film follows the encounter between these two characters and David Dunn reacts to it all.
There is a lot that like to compare it to Superman. Quentin Tarantino referred to it as a "brilliant retelling" of the Man of Steel. While I definitely see where they are coming from. I feel like it's pulling at straws a little bit, this film does in-fact deal with similar subject-matter, but I don't think it's so close to be saying that it is a retelling. A real-world superhero movie that pulls inspiration from a lot of things that makes it into something different would probably be a more accurate description.
I like the story of this one. I think it likely could have been used a whole lot better, but that's neither here nor there. The idea that comic-books are the spiritual successor of things like Greek Mythology. It definitely sounds a little stupid when you say it like that, but in the film, Elijah Price admits that the stories go through the ringer before being brought to the surface.
The biggest thing that I want to praise about this film is the performance of Samuel L. Jackson. I really liked everything about him. He amused me from the beginning to the end. Bruce Willis isn't bad either. He has a much less newsworthy performance. He's the every-man that is experiencing everything that happens in the film.
The story starts off decently. It isn't anything to call home about. There's no massive underlying themes, or intricately inscribed aspects. As I have said, Bruce Willis is subtle in the film. I suppose that you can compare his role to how he was in Sixth Sense. Unfortunately, at times, the film itself starts to become a little too dreary. It didn't really engage me much at all. Everything felt a little too, ... generic, I don't like to use the word because I like the premise, but that's what a lot of it felt like.
More than that though, the film definitely feels disproportionate. As if to say that it doesn't have a clear idea as to what it wants to accomplish. This never reigns more true than the last half of the movie. It became very allover the place. I also feel like too much happened. I never appreciated some of the moments as much as I would have had they been properly built up to. They happened, and then, later on, something else happened.
I did like the end. It was definitely predictable, but I liked it.
In conclusion, there isn't really one thing that is particularly wrong about the film. It is more to say that there simply isn't anything too good about it. The premise held potential, and everything was done okay, but it wasn't done greatly and wasn't done as good as it could have been. The acting is neither here nor there at most points, although I liked Jackson, and the film suffers from a disproportional and other-wise incoherent narrative. All the same, it's a fine little movie that does offer something.
It has a cult-following, so obviously others found something in it. I didn't. Maybe I am wrong, decide for yourself.
Thanks for reading...