Monday, April 20, 2015

Film Review: Unbreakable (2000)

Unbreakable (Review)
United States/2000
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a creative, clever, and exciting superhero film."

A train derails killings everyone on board, except for security guard David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who miraculously survives without any serious injury...

Unbreakable follows David Dunn after the accident. As he copes with the trauma and tries to return to a normal life, David meets Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a comic enthusiasts born with Type I osteogenesis imperfecta -- a disease that causes his bones to break easily. Elijah believes his vulnerable disease places him at one side of the spectrum, so there must be a man with unbreakable characteristics at the other -- David. Hesitant to believe it a first, David soon finds himself questioning his role in life and finds that he may have superhuman abilities. This is a film where the "less you know, the better," so I'll leave it at that. The ending of the film is great, though. 

Unbreakable is a very interesting and creative superhero film. In a sense, it's a superhero film grounded in reality. There aren't any explosions, aliens or action-packed sequences à la The Avengers. No, Unbreakable is a much more tamed film -- and I loved it. The entire film has this very enchanting and almost whimsical vibe. It's an unusual feeling, like you're not watching a superhero movie but you are. Watching David's first exercise, for example, made me feel like I were actually discovering a superhero for the first time. Anyway, the story is well-paced and creative. It builds up very well, never showing more than it has to, but always showing enough. There's a little bit of suspense here and there, too -- it's effective. The ending has some predictable elements, but it is satisfying.

The cast is great. Bruce Willis is a great leading man and Samuel L. Jackson has great energy, as usual. There's only one scene I thought was under-performed, for lack of a better term. Otherwise, the acting was great. The film is shot well, I really liked the engaging camerawork. The music was fantastic, too. Writer and director M. Night Shyamalan crafts a wonderful experience with finesse. The direction is great, and the writing is clever. I genuinely hope to see M. Night Shyamalan return to his roots as a master storyteller. This film is a grand example of Syamalan's skill in creating a creative and engaging narrative.

Overall, Unbreakable is a fantastic film. It's a creative, clever, and exciting superhero film. In a sea of large, blockbuster superhero films (which I also tend to enjoy), it's refreshing to find a film like Unbreakable. There were only a few minor issues, like that one scene that felt underperformed, that stood out to me, but I otherwise loved it. It's a wonderful experience, I highly recommend it.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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