on May 4, 2004
I turned on UNBREAKABLE on tv last night to see what the big deal was about after I saw some commercial hyping a new M. Night Shyamalan movie THE VILLAGE with a promise of a trailer during UNBREAKABLE. I never got to made it to the THE VILLAGE trailer because UNBREAKABLE was unwatchable!
First of all, most train wrecks have survivors--lots of them--so one guy--in this case, Bruce Willis, of course--surviving a train wreck isn't really all that special. (Now if this had been a movie about the sole survivor of a plane crash, THAT might have been interesting!) Then the mystical stuff about the other guy--Samuel L. Jackson--his spiritual doppleganger who's always getting hurt is the same old psychic baloney from SIXTH SENSE, and by the time I got to Willis realizing that he's--of course--unbreakable--even a 1960s comic book fan like me had had enough.
Oh, and UNBREAKABLE is slow, has the old "mysterious letter from nowhere" scene, and is continuing proof that Hollywood has run out of ideas. And after you've seen as many movies as I have, the best title for this one isn't UNBREAKABLE, it's UNWATCHABLE!!!
Chari Krishnan RESEARCHKING
on March 20, 2002
Untakeable, or at least unwatchable. I guess they incorporated the whole "Comic book" theme into the storyline in an attempt to intensify the movie's (already flipantly proportioned) surreality. Whatever their intention, the writers fudged it up big time! The result is Cheesey enough to feed a Rathouse.
I saw this piece of Trash in the movie theater (yes I dropped $8 on it). I can remember the entire audience erupting into laughter during the scene when Bruce Willis's 9 year old son holds his parents at gunpoint, insisting through fake tears, over unessecarily clamorous music, that he has to shoot his dad to prove to everyone that he really is "Unbreakable". Again... Whatever the intended effect was... IT FAILED
Of the pacing in this movie, I say it dragged where it should have skimmed and skimmed where it should have accentuated. You can just sense the carelessness in editing.
The ending... My god! Almost as laughable as the pistol packing third grader. Movies are supposed to "end" as in "Conclude", as in wrap everything up efficiently as it pertains to the rest of the story. Unbreakable just kind of stopped. Its like they ran out of film, or something and had to end it in a flash.
So, there you have it. Another movie that never should have seen the big screen. A poorly paced, pitifully written bit of work with a shotgun ending. Don't let your curioisity get the better of you. This one is bound to disappoint.
PS) It made number 19 on my list of worst films ever
on March 19, 2002
Let me count the ways! M. Night 'Shamalamadingdong' made this cute little story and dragged it out into an exasperating 90 minutes. This would've made a decent Twilight Zone episode, but because there was no real substance to the story, the director just slowed down the pacing. Either we're to believe that all of the lead characters are stoned or they all speak that slowly and methodically because they are mentally handicapped.
Why was Bruce Willis' character getting divorced? Why did he try to pick up the girl on the train if he supposedly still loves his soon to be ex-wife? Why on earth would a parent just stand around while a child points a loaded gun at them? Hardly realistic.
And don't get me started on the surprise ending! It's very easy to make a surprise ending if you just pick it out thin air. There was nothing at all in the story that would even lead you to suspect the ending was possible. Unlike his brilliant Sixth Sense which plays well multiple times because it was true to itself.
This movie was horrible and someone owes me 90 minutes of my life back!
on January 27, 2002
I can't believe this movie rates only half a star worse than "The 6th sense". The director and the main actor are the same, atmosphere and pacing are similar; yet these two movies couldn't be more different. I saw both of them completely unprejudiced and without expectations. "The 6th sense" gives you two memorable and (as far as fantasy goes) credible characters, an interesting and gripping story and a fantastic and satisfying ending that makes you pound your head saying "why didn't I see/how could I have missed that". "Unbreakable" is trying very hard to be like its predecessor and failing miserably. The slow pacing and depressive mood of "The 6th sense" were quite fitting for the story of a boy who is the only one capable of seeing the recently deceased and a psychiatrist desperately trying to save him after losing a patient with the same problem. They do NOT fit the story of an unbelieving comic book hero and hooded avenger! When the train "crashed" at the beginning with no action scene whatsoever, I still thought "Ah, so this one is purely psychological - OK, fine with me" but the movie went only downhill after that and hit one of its low points when the son threatened to shoot his father to prove that he is unbreakable. Talk about unintentional humor - this scene certainly got a big laugh from me! The end - while it was comparably surprising to "The 6th sense" - was by no means as satisfying. It just put an end to a pretentious and boring story with no one to root for. I read critics of "Unbreakable" only afterwards. The fact that ALL(!) of the professional reviewers put this movie down as a wannabe should give those who give it a rave review some pause. If you like it and can't get enough of it - fine, but don't tell all the others they don't get it. I like comics, I appreciate good(!) psychological thrillers, but still this movie (to steal an expression from Stephen King) bites like an Electrolux!
on January 18, 2002
First off, let me give a quick overview of the movie. Bruce Willis plays your average white guy, except he's unbreakable. We first discover this when he is the sole survivor of a horrible train wreck, but as the movie progresses, we learn he has a knack for being invincible. Samuel L Jackson plays the exact opposite, a frail comic-shop owner whose bones break easily and who suffers extreme bodily harm with the slightest accident. The movie basically involves interaction between the two, with Sam Jackson trying to convince Bruce that he's invincible and that he should take up the role of hero. Other than that, little plot, except the "twist" at the end.
Now, the review:
This is probably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Even if you are a fan of this type of movie (sci-fi/mystery/thriller), of comic books, and of movies that have a twist (of which I am all three), you probably won't like it. Maybe I am being too harsh simply based on the fact that this movie had sooooo much potential and then blew in the final 10 minutes, but still, I laughed when it was over, and I wasn't laughing with it, if you know what I mean. Zero character development, apart from the physical gifts/shortcomings of the main characters, and a waste of a decent plot that was ruined by the directors desire to "trick" or surprise us. The end was a surprise however, just not the kind that was very clever or well thought out.
on August 8, 2001
you don't need me to tell you that this movie is terrible - you can read the other reviews. they're much more eloquent. what i wanted to share was why i thought it was a waste of time.
yes, i know that my expectations had been raised by the director, the stars, they hype. but beyond the raised expectation syndrome, was (in my opinion) the flawed ending. true, the film was a bit slow, but i would have lived with that had the ending held up it's promise.
i'm going do this carefully, so as to not ruin it for those of you who are still curious enough to sit through the film.
what you get, instead, is a psychological film that totally ignores the biggest and most important psychological point - what is impact of a traumatic discovery. instead of watching how our hero deals with a truly life altering revelation, we see a quick, pat ending that leaves you perplexed, confused, and annoyed (that you waited this long and through those boring parts).
i think they took too long to establish the characters and and build sympathy. the result - woops, we need to have a shorter movie. some bad editting and voila - there you have it. a one star film!
on August 8, 2001
I liked "The 6th Sense" but Unbreakable is a horrendously bad movie. And not of the "so-bad-it's-good" variety either. Don't get this for a laugh. You'll be disappointed. It's simply a bore. There is no character development. No real plot development. The whole thing is a joke. That is, there's a setup and a punch line at the end. But when you take 2 hours to tell a joke it gets real old quickly. This story is set up and then it drones on for two hours until the (completely illogical and unbelievable) punchline in the final minute of the movie. Come to think of it, the set up is also completely illogical and unbelievable. My guess is that the screenwriter wrote this long BEFORE The Sixth Sense. When Sixth Sense was a hit, he looked under his bed and found his old script, dusted it off and cashed in on his newfound success. Because there is NO WAY anyone could have sold this miserable excuse for a story if they did not have a big hit behind them. Steer clear of this movie.
And by the way, it's NOT subtle. That's just a way of excusing this wet blanket of a movie.
on July 1, 2001
I just got done viewing this mess. What an awful and stupid movie! When will I learn? I absolutely hated The Sixth Sense. I felt the last 1/3 of that movie ruined any previous credibility the story had. When Unbreakable was released, which was written, directed, etc.., by the same guy that did The Sixth Sense, I instinctively stayed away. Now, with it's arrival on home video, and with the absolute lack of anything remotely interesting coming to theaters or home video, I thought I'd see what people had to say about this movie in these reviews. It seemed that people that like the Sixth Sense did not much care for this film, and vice versa. I took that as a possible indication that this film may perhaps have some saving grace. Dead wrong. The basic plot of the movie is that Bruce Willis is some kind of Superman that cannot be hurt or killed. On the other end of the spectrum we have the Samuel L. Jackson character, who's bones shatter if you tap him on the shoulder. He is the one that gets in contact with Willis' character after he is the sole survivor of a train wreck at the beginning of the film. He spends the film trying to convince Willis that he is Superman, here to save the day. How stupid! 2 amazingly bad scenes worth warning people about. A scene in which Bruce Willis is lifting weights. He has his son add more and more weight while always being able to lift it. This scene drags on FOREVER. I was waiting for him to start adding the neighborhood kids one by one to the weight bar to continue to prove his point. My friend and I were in agony by this point. The gold star of bad scenes is when the son decides to pull out daddy's gun and threaten to shoot him to prove that he is "Unbreakable". The dialog in this scene is SOOOOOOOO bad. While dad tries to talk son into giving him the gun, because they are "friends", mom offers this little pearl of wisdom. "No shooting friends". This was a big laugh getter. I have to see that nonsensical scene one more time before I return the movie to the rental store. Did I actually spend $4 for this? I want a refund, and an additional amount for the 2 hour waste of time. There is a surprise ending, but by that point I just didn't care, and it certainly did not redeem this mess in any way.
on June 27, 2001
I, by no means, am skilled as a critic, but even I can see the flaws in this movie. I heard friends say this movie was horrible, but I like The Sixth Sense and decided to give Unbreakable a try. This movie seemed to be developed off of a "wouldn't it be cool if" idea - mixed with a desparate attempt to find a storyline, and Brue Willis tossed in on the side. The story telling is so far-fetched (even with an open mind), and hidiously flawed with the use of the camera. M. Night Shyamalan probably thought he was fairly innovative with his camera techniques, but it felt like it was shot by a ten-year-old. The editing was nerve-wrenching, also. Even at critical points in the story (the school yard scene), the use of the fade completely takes away from the (little)emotion felt. Don't get me wrong; I grew up with comic books, but I don't fall in love with every childish idea I hear. When I hear the name M. Night Shyamalan, I think of a man who tries to make you think, but this movie demands someone whose deep thought is not a strong point. I'm sure Shyamalan did not intend on that to happen - and that is why this movie is a failure.
on June 11, 2001
There is perhaps nothing more pathetic than a movie that supersedes great expression with great contrivance, and M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable operates under such reasoning. Many say it's wrong to compare Unbreakable to The Sixth Sense, but the film is practically a clone of its predecessor, with similar structure, character organization, and thematic elements woven into the material as if he had no other options at his disposal. That may have been the first problem, as The Sixth Sense is easily the most overrated ghost story in film history. Dressed up with a lot of smoke and mirrors and showy, self-indulgent over-direction, Sixth Sense somehow emerged as a monster hit. The director's cameo and the luminescent "an M Night Shyamalan film" caption directly after the oh-so-clever twist hinted that Mr. M really thought he was producing more than just hokum. Unbreakable is also like Sixth Sense in that it's infuriatingly pleased with itself. Bruce Willis is Mr. David Dunn, a train crash survivor tracked down by Samuel L Jackson, a sickly comic book obsessive. Given an overtly portentous opening caption explaining how many thousands of hours per year Americans spend reading comics, we know they must play a key part and, sure enough, Sammy J. thinks comics are a modern-day bible, foretelling the arrival of a superhero. Could Mr. DD be the one? Well, that's what the rest of the film reveals. But that's it - very little actually happens.
The unravelling of David's implausible past proceeds at a crawl, as Mr. M pleasures himself with his trademark funny camera angles (much of the film is shot from floor level, for no good reason) and sudden, spooky chords leaping from the soundtrack's shadows to let you know something sinister is afoot! There's nothing behind this tiresome, tawdry trickery - Mr. M thinks he's coolly mesmerising like David Blaine, but in reality he's annoying like Paul Daniels. This is a very discouraging film, not only because of the positive reviews, but also because people are lowering personal standards to find enough redeemable qualities among the flaws to deem the final result as at least a recommendable product. An attempt to dissect every little detail here, needless to say, only leads to a more unfavorable outcome; the deeper you go, the more Unbreakable begins to seem like a labored, shallow exercise in cheap thrills that is more interested in messing with your head than uncovering a decent, thought-provoking narrative.