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Unbreakable (Bilingual)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2007
Unbreakable is about the mythology behind comic book superheroes and the purposes that each of us have in life. The film opens with the birth of a baby boy with all four of his limbs broken. He is Elijah Price, who is played by Samuel L. Jackson, and he has type I OI or brittle bone disease. As his life goes on, he gets the nickname of "Mr. Glass" as up the point of present time in Unbreakable, Elijah had broken bones in his body 57 times. Elijah is motivated early on to socialize in some capacity by his mother and his primary interest becomes comic books. As he gets older he soon begins to question what the reason is for his own existence and comes to the conclusion that if people like him exist with his weakness, then surely there must be someone on the other end of the spectrum with massive strengths. Elijah believes there is nothing scarier than to live life without knowing your purpose and he makes the assertion that there are in fact real-life superheroes.

Bruce Willis plays David Dunn, a security officer, who, unlike Elijah, is trying to find his own purpose in life. He gave up his football career for his wife but now his marriage is falling apart. David survives a train wreck that kills 131 people, and he is the only survivor. He was completely unharmed. Elijah believes David to be a real superhero and gradually confronts David with his theory. David's son Joseph believes Elijah and assists David in finding out more about his potential powers. Just to add, I'm of the opinion that it is an absolute pleasure to watch Willis and Jackson act in pretty much anything.

As with any M. Night Shyamalan film, giving too much away is hugely detrimental to the experience and please know that this film is entirely worth going into with no more information then I have already provided. What Shyamalan has done here in retrospect, while considering the recent onslaught of big-budget comic book movies, is create a completely unconventional yet convincing adaptation of comic book heroes' origins. At the same time Unbreakable celebrates the mythology behind these fictional characters. It takes a profound imagination to come up with a screenplay that gives this concept the treatment that Shyamalan has. It is the kind of concept that might have taken almost a lifetime of brainstorming.

A friend of mine once said that the Sixth Sense was a gigantic and nearly perfect movie for absolutely everyone, while as a comic book fan Unbreakable was tailored made perfectly for him. Though I'm half the comic book fan he is, I concur with that assessment enough to confidently invoke it hear. If you truly love comic books, Unbreakable is your film. If you are not a lover of comic books, then try to walk into this film expecting little action and you shouldn't be disappointed.

It can be argued that Shyamalan has lost his way in recent years, although he does retain his technical prowess even now. Nevertheless, Unbreakable is still a joy to watch and is a shining example of Shyamalan during his most inspired and generative phase.
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Hit show "Heroes" became a big hit with the premise "what if ordinary people found that they had superpowers?" B

ut they weren't the first to use that -- M. Night Shyamalan tackled in in "Unbreakable," an intensely geeky, eerie thriller about a man who discovers that he is a superhuman. It's full of solid acting and writing, but has a big fat letdown of an ending.

A train derails, killing everyone on board -- except everyman David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who survives without a scratch. As he tries to deal with this, he is contacted by crippled comic book dealer Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), whose "glass" bones made him speculate: what if there were people at the opposite end of the spectrum -- real superheroes with great strength and powers, REAL "men of steel"?

Realizing that he has never been sick or endangered (except when exposed to water), David begins to explore his newly-discovered strength and second sight, despite the harm it does to his fragile marriage, even saving others from criminals. But there's a sinister side to his discovery and the accident that caused him to explore his powers...

"Superhero movie" usually makes you think of loads of colourful action and young hunky heroes. But Shyamalan takes the opposite approach -- a middle-aged Everyman hero with wife and kid, and the movie is cloaked in shadowy camerawork, not much action at all and eerie, overquiet dialogue. Still it's very geeky, and very intelligent.

Instead of action, "Unbreakable" devotes itself to the mythic qualities of superheroes, and David's slow awakening to his own abilities. Rather than his usual suspense, Shyamalan uses atmosphere to keep the plot captivating, giving it the feeling of a creepy intense dream. And since every superhero has to fight the baddies, he weaves in some tightly-choreographed, grimy fight sequences as David finally makes use of his superstrength.

So what's the problem? Quite simply, the ending is a huge letdown -- while rationally it makes sense, David's actions at the climax leave you feeling, "That's it? That's all the 'unbreakable man' is going to do? What the?" And somehow it feels odd that a "supervillain" wouldn't really have any superabilities (or compensation for them) himself. Slight stumble there.

Bruce Willis gives an excellent, understated performance as David, who longs for an indefinable something in his life, and slowly grows to realize that he is "unbreakable." Nice ordinary guy who turns out to be very extraordinary. But Jackson is even better as Elijah Price -- intense, passionate, and somewhat detached from the real world. His powerful personality balances out his frail body.

Shyamalan goes into comic-book geek mode in in "Unbreakable," a slow-moving, suspenseful movie about a hero's awakening... that only stumbles in the final scenes.
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Currently hit show "Heroes" is riding high with the premise "what if ordinary people found that they had superpowers?" But they weren't the first to use that -- M. Night Shyamalan tackled in in "Unbreakable," an eerie thriller full of solid acting and writing, but a big fat letdown of an ending.

A train derails, killing everyone on board -- except everyman David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who survives without a scratch. As he tries to deal with this, he is contacted by crippled comic book dealer Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), whose "glass" bones made him speculate: what if there were people at the opposite end of the spectrum -- real superheroes with great strength and powers, REAL "men of steel"?

Realizing that he has never been sick or endangered (except when exposed to water), David begins to explore his newly-discovered strength and second sight, despite the harm it does to his fragile marriage, even saving others from criminals. But there's a sinister side to his discovery and the accident that caused him to explore his powers...

"Superhero movie" usually makes you think of loads of colourful action and young hunky heroes. But Shyamalan takes the opposite approach -- a middle-aged Everyman hero with wife and kid, and the movie is cloaked in shadowy camerawork, not much action at all and eerie, overquiet dialogue. Still it's very geeky, and very intelligent.

Instead of action, "Unbreakable" devotes itself to the mythic qualities of superheroes, and David's slow awakening to his own abilities. Rather than his usual suspense, Shyamalan uses atmosphere to keep the plot captivating, giving it the feeling of a creepy intense dream. And since every superhero has to fight the baddies, he weaves in some tightly-choreographed, grimy fight sequences as David finally makes use of his superstrength.

So what's the problem? Quite simply, the ending is a huge letdown -- while rationally it makes sense, David's actions at the climax leave you feeling, "That's it? That's all the 'unbreakable man' is going to do?" And somehow it feels odd that a "supervillain" wouldn't really have any superabilities (or compensation for them) himself.

Bruce Willis gives an excellent, understated performance as David, who longs for an indefinable something in his life, and slowly grows to realize that he is "unbreakable." But Jackson is even better as Elijah Price -- intense, passionate, and somewhat detached from the real world. His powerful personality balances out his frail body.

Shyamalan goes into comic-book geek mode in in "Unbreakable," a slow-moving, suspenseful movie about a hero's awakening... that only stumbles in the final scenes.
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on July 2, 2004
I agree that this could've been much better but it is still a great movie overall. This movie was written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Signs, The Sixth Sense). The main characters in this movie are David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson). David is in a terrible train accident and he is the sole survivor without a single scratch on him. He then meets Elijah who thinks David is a hero. Specifically he thinks David's a comic book hero. Elijah tries to convince David and his family that he is a hero while David tries to remember his past. David remembers that he never was sick and he never had a broken bone which leads him to thinking he is a hero which then he becomes frustrated and doesn't really know what to think of at all.
The ending was surprising but you could kind of see it coming. I thought the ending was going to be really great but it turned out just to be good.
There are about an hour of special features on the second disc, which are great, but I was hoping there was more.
Special Features:
-Behind the Scenes with Bruce Willis (15 minutes)
-Comic Book and Superheroes with Samuel L. Jackson (20 minutes)
-The Train Station Sequence multi angle
-A short film from M. Night Shyamalan (3 minutes)
-7 Deleted Scenes all introduced by M. Night Shyamalan (30 minutes):
Elijah taken Away
Audrey in waiting room
David in shower
Elijah at fair
David with priest
Audrey calls David
Weightlifting in locker room
I figured they could have put a couple of the deleted scenes in the movie especially David with priest and Elijah at fair.
Overall this movie was great and I am glad to own it. If you were a fan of Sixth Sense I recommend this. It isn't scary or anything like that but you do have to pay attention to it to finally get it at the end. It really comes together when you get it then you enjoy the movie more.
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Why? Cos you immediately compare the two! I've seen Sixth Sense a few times before this, and I knew there was going to be a twist to the film, just like Sixth Sense. So you're constantly looking out for the twist coming, and trying to second guess what is going to happen, or what could happen to the character. I found this ruined the movie slightly, I probably would have liked it more if I could have seen it from a fresh perspective.
It's such a shame that Unbreakable didn't do as well as Sixth Sense at the box office, cos it's an amazing movie to watch. It's fascinating to watch how it quickly reels the viewer - and how much you get annoyed when someone phones at the crucial moment! However, I did find it a lot slower than Sixth Sense, and I hated how it was rated a 12 - so much more could have been done, for example they could have actually shown the train derail, with a higher rating.
Bruce Willis seems to be a favourite of M. Night Shyamalan's, and quite right too! He's been terrific in both Sixth Sense and this, and once again, shows he's great with kids, since he's so great with the little guy who plays his son. He also has a lot less hair in this movie - which results in him NOT needing a hairstylist! Sorry, I found that really funny!
Samuel L Jackson just didn't look like his usual self in this movie. I dunno whether it was the weird, big hair or what. But his character was cool. What annoyed me at first, is when you see the baby/young Elijah, he's very much often reflected in glass. Stupid me, I didn't make the connection, cos his "name" is Mr Glass - as in "the kids call me Mr Glass". Purely cos he breaks easily. As a newborn, he's reflected in the mirror; as a young child, he's seen reflected in a blank TV screen; he leaves his calling card on the windshield of David's (Bruce) car; he's often seen reflected in the glass frames in his art gallery, and what I found strangest of all, his walking stick is made of glass! (Although it provides a pretty spectacular scene when he falls and it shatters). As I said I didn't make the connection, but instead, I thought it was to do with him not wanting to see himself, because of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta? Just the (strange) way I see things!
Unbreakable focuses heavily on comic books, including a funny scene, where Elijah brings them down around him, and then picks the one he wants! There's also a lot about colour in the movie, particularly, what I noticed, all the 'bad' guys are very often wearing bright colours, so look out for that if you can. (Oh, kinda giving the game away there!)
What I found annoying to start with, but then began to like, was the amount of 'important' stuff that was introduced upside down. It gets tedious trying to twist your head to see what the hell you're looking at! These included: the TV train wreck footage; Elijah's first comic book; the "Keep Out" sign guarding the train's wreckage; the silver gun with the black grip, which Elijah sees in the belt of the man with the camouflage jacket while lying on his back; Audrey in the car crash flashback and Elijah's face after he falls down the stairs.
This was a terrific movie, so don't believe all the bad reviews you see. If you get a chance to see it on DVD, go for it! I think certain scenes would have been much more effective on the big screen, particularly the train station scene.
Oh, and watch out for M. Night Shyamalan doing a trademark - appearing in the movie! He appears twice in this, as two separate characters. (He also appears in Sixth Sense, as one of the doctors tending to Cole)
Oh, and I did NOT get the twist! I never do.
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on June 6, 2004
This is a quite good film which I am not sure of giving it 3 or 4 stars. It's quite simple.
The film itself is good (so it deserves 4 stars) but the comparison with "Sixth Sense" is irresistible, and then "Unbreakable" clearly looses the game. I will try to make my review not taking into account the "prequel"...
"Unbreakable" has good some great moments, mainly in the first part of the film. The scene into the train with Willis (David Dunn) talking to the girl close to him is memorable, as some dialogs with his wife (almost ex-wife).
The discovering of Willis' great powers with the aid of Jackson's (Elijah Price) knowledge of the world of comics is somewhat confusing, but the way we start to "know things" is correct. However, the scene of the son pointing his father with a gun is absolutely insignificant and out of context.
The real good thing is to see Willis and Jackson far from "what-they-used-to-do" in late 80's.
I was given advice of the absurdity of the end, but I don't think it's absurd, naïve or even stupid. In fact, it's even logical but the way the information is given in the last few minutes is overwhelming, reduces its credibility.
All in all, it's a film that I recommend you, even more if you haven't seen "Sixth Sense"...
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on May 8, 2004
I have heard people call this one of Shyamalan's weakest films. However I've got to disagree- if anything I found this to be among his most powerful. You've just got to recognize the mythic underpinnings. It all hinges on the fact that when profound evil manifests, the universe creates equally powerful good to even the balance and put things right. The universe crystallizes out a hero. Nor may a hero ignore his reason for being: he cannot deny the call.
But what if the hero finds himself in a mediocre age? What if a born hero is constantly taught that he is nothing special? What if society conspires to let his abilities go to waste? Indeed, what if his, or her, society denies the very possibility of the existence of a true hero? It would make no difference. Heroes come from a higher place for a higher purpose. They are the tools that the universe uses to put things right. They will find a way to awake to their true calling no matter what. The soul of a hero cannot be diluted by a weak and soulless society.
Willis is perfect as the ordinary man that slowly comes to realize that he is far from ordinary. The way that he slowly realizes that the only limitations on him are those imposed by his own doubts is most believable. Jackson's performance is equally believable as the dark mirror to Willis.
As for the special features, the mini-documentary on comic books and their meaning is quite good. I especially enjoyed actually seeing Frank Millar and Alex Ross talk about their motivations. And as most of the creators point out, the motivations behind the best comics are archetypical and mythological. They are the popular breakout of the power of myth in an otherwise profane and meaningless age.
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on April 19, 2004
There's only one thing I would've changed about the movie though. The fact that Bruce Willis acting was a little over done in this one. He was still good though. Overall, I liked the movie, and the plot of having kind of super powers a person isn't quite willing to accept yet.
David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is just a regular man. With very few words, he can express how he's feeling. But when he emerges from a deadly train crash without a scratch on him, he begins to wonder what's going on. He soon realizes that he's never had a sick day in his whole life going to back to the fact that there was a car accident with him in it where he also came out without a scratch. It seems David can't be hurt, or injured in anyway besides one acception that he can't go near water without practically drowning. When a strange, yet very delicate, comic collector (Samuel L. Jackson) is taking an interest on David as more and more strange things begin to happen as he finds out, he can know about other people, and their sins in the past by just a simple bump on the shoulder. When a murder becomes obvious on the mind of a worker in the train station, he sets out deciding to use his powers
I still give it four stars. the acting was a little off, but still four stars. M. Night Shyamalan delivers with another success. I think the best acting was done by Samuel L. Jackson who was the weird comic collector who was obsessed with David's supernatural powers. I liked it, and own it because anything as good and suspenseful as Unbreakable is definetely worth owning. Don't think twice about it either. What will Shyamalan think of next?
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on February 25, 2004
M. Night Shyamalan's followup to his blockbuster debut The Sixth Sense is regarded by many as a tepid piece at best. While the idea was found to be creepy enough, the speed of the plot was taken to task and cited as the primary spoiler of the experience. Although there is merit to the criticism, Unbreakable should be seen for what it is: a superlative exercise in concept and suspense.
Bruce Willis portrays David Dunn, an aptly named man whose given/surname appropriately reflect the prosaic ordinariness of his staid life; he's just a security guard, no exciting skeletons in his closet whatsoever (it seems). His life takes a more kinetic turn when he is on a train that derails and gains a bit of fame for being the sole survivor of the wreckage. This fact is noticed by the more exotically christened Elijah Price (brought to life by Samuel L. Jackson), a tragic figure who suffers from a congenital condition which renders his skeletal system as brittle as thin crystal. Price is obsessed with comic books and their omnipotent characters because they represent the antithesis of his horrible physical limitations (which were conveyed effectively in a cruel scene where he tumbles down a flight of hard steps, his bones shattering like dropped china). He has another obsession as well: he wants to locate a real superhero, for he believes at least one demigod walks among the human race. He becomes convinced that Dunn is the one, and he wants this Clark Kent to find his inner Son-Of-Jor-El; Dunn naturally wants to ground such a flight of fancy, and he has a problem when his son- who also believes he's a derivative of DC magic- wants to test the hypothesis by shooting him (another powerful moment). So...who's right? Price; Dunn? The conclusion is sinister in its revelations.
One thing which must be understood about Unbreakable is that it is essentially a film-school project blown up to multiplex-ready proportions. The dark, somber tone is never ameliorated; the narrative maintains a consistent depressive feel at home in a budding Spielberg's thesis. This is most likely what initiated the tentative reception; but the approach actually works, because the crucial elements of the story are allowed to become the focal point for the viewer, as opposed to becoming lost and diluted by an irresistable need to increase the commercial quotient. Shyamalan keeps any idiosyncratic histronics at bay with the actors, a predeliction which has become his trademark; this also functions as a sterilizing agent, ensuring the purity of the drama by neutralizing any contaminating Hollywood habits. The primary directive of the piece is wish fulfillment, a desire to take the phrase "science fiction" and truncate the latter term, to convert fantasy into reality, to make the dreams of a child as tangible and reproducible as a chemistry experiment; to be certain, that has happened before, the successful voyage to the moon representing a single example. But we're probably not destined to land on every moon; nevertheless, Shyamalan crafted an engaging tale of one handicapped man's epic quest to touch down on his own personal Sea Of Tranquility.
Unbreakable is not a perfect film; indeed, there are one or two lapses in logic. Still, it is worth a viewing. One last note: it surpasses the attempts of Signs at allegorical fable-creation.
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on November 25, 2003
Anyone who appreciates beautiful camera work,subtle and dark shots that move gracefully with each scene, and a deep thought- provoking story accompanied with simple yet genuinely intense acting, will tremondously enjoy this movie and give credence to the director's distinguished talent and brilliance to the art of movie making.
This is not aimed for an impatient and shallow audience that is easily thrilled and impressed by rapid successions of confusing blurbbed scenes and story-line-like so many other suspense and thriller movies are inundated with; instead, it is aimed for a patient, mature, and deep audience that is easily stirred by palpable emotions and a slow, tense,strenuously emerging plots that superimpose flawlessly and effortlessly with the characters' conflicting emotions.
Bruce's character's similarity with the character he plays in the Sixth Sense and the some-what bland relationship with his wife, although tense at the same time, was the reason I did not give Unbreakable a 5-star rating.
In short, if you enjoyed the sixth sense, you will enjoy Unbreakable if you keep in mind that it is a different movie that addresses different issues and thus the surprising and unexpected-not shocking-ending!
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