Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Running Time: 106 mins
Unbreakable is an American film about a man who discovers an impossible truth about himself when he is reached by a comic book collector after he is left unharmed and the only survivor of a fatal train crash.
Well, there’s one word that can sum up this film perfectly: WEIRD. It’s got a distinctly eery and tense atmosphere throughout that keeps you engaged for pretty much the whole duration, with various unpredictable twists that build up to a thrilling climax.
The whole topic of this film is the correlation between comic book superheroes and reality. Although seeming as if it takes something as light as a comic too seriously, it develops into a fascinating theme that adds to the oddly serious atmosphere of what is in effect a superhero movie.
But it’s not your average superhero movie. The main character is an everyman that, although seeming very dull and average at the start, develops into the silent hero that saves the day in the end. His transition from a normal man to this ultimate hero is fascinating, as he struggles to understand how it can be that he has this unbelievable power.
Then, there’s the secondary character, played by Samuel L. Jackson. In stark contrast to Bruce Willis’ normality, he is a mysterious eccentric, forced indoors all his life due to a genetic disorder that is the polar opposite to Willis.
That conflict between them is a fascinating point throughout the story, as it increases the tension of their relationship throughout, causing one another’s lives to escalate to frightening levels.
There was one thing, however, that I felt was quite annoying about this film. Post-discovery of powers, but pre-use of powers in the end, the film goes into a 40-minute period where it completely lacks direction. It jumps between flashbacks to surreal moments now, it hops from storyline to storyline, and yet nothing seems to be advancing with Bruce Willis’ character’s adjustment to his powers.
It’s not until the final 20 minutes where you get the superhero twist you came for. Not that the previous part of the film was dull, but there’s nothing as thrilling and frightening as the ending, which uses a blend of a scary atmosphere, Schindler’s List-esque cinematography and pure silence to make for an incredible conclusion.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.7, because despite its weak middle section, this film is a wholly thrilling and intriguing experience.