on February 19, 2004
Capsule summary: Bruce Willis plays an ordinary man who does security work. After a devastating train accident somehow leaves him miraculously untouched, he is contacted by a mysterious man who tells him he may not be ordinary at all, but so extraordinary that he can no longer lead an ordinary life. The truth is even stranger, and more frightening, than it seems at first.
Review (with spoilers): It is a rare thing to come across anything NEW in either the thriller OR superhero genres. This combination of both manages to do so for both. We start with a young boy, Elijah Price who is born with a terrible medical curse: his bones are so brittle that they can break under any significant strain. To motivate him to at least try to make as much use of his body as he can, his mother buys him comic books which he likes and places them on the playground across the street; Elijah accepts the challenge, and the comic-book world within...
... Years later, a devastating train accident occurs, leaving security worker David Dunn (Bruce Willis) untouched though nearly everyone else is killed. Elijah, who now runs a collectibles store focused around comic memorabilia, contacts David. It seems that Elijah, because of his incredible fragility (for which the neighborhood children have nicknamed him "Mr. Glass"), formed a theory that the bell-curve distribution of human traits demanded that there be someone on the "opposite end" from him: someone virtually unbreakable, superhuman. Elijah (played as an adult by Samuel L. Jackson) is clearly somewhat nuts, yet there is a wierd and compelling power about him, and about the faith he has that there is a higher power motivating these events.
David does not accept this theory at once, but eventually other odd coincidences force him to at least test this nutcase's ideas... and the test results are everything that Elijah expects, stunning even David and his son.
In the end, David accepts that there is, in fact, some part of him driven to seek out and oppose true evildoers -- those who kill with pleasure and so on -- and in a dramatic sequence fights his first battle as a vigilante. Ironically, even though he does NOT go looking for some funny costume and tights, the outfit he wears works *AS* a superhero costume, even supplying him with an appropriate superheroic name: "Security".
BIG SPOILER WARNING, DO NOT READ ANY FARTHER IF YOU WANT ANY CHANCE TO WATCH THE REMAINDER OF THE FILM UNKNOWING
But the true shocker comes at the end, when we discover that, in order to FIND his superhero, Elijah has been CAUSING multiple disasters, winnowing through countless scenes of destruction to find the one unbreakable man or woman. The man we thought was playing "Professor X" to David's X-man life is, in fact, more akin to the Joker looking for his Batman. "Mr. Glass" could not be a superhero, so obviously he would have to be the villain -- and FIND a hero to oppose him.
Will David ever play Hero again? Despite this shock, we don't know. I would guess... yes. The ironic fact is that Mr. Glass *WAS* telling the truth. There IS a special power in David, one specifically there for finding those of true evil intent, and he truly does have a strong drive to act on it. But what a dark and sinister origin to have....
on January 14, 2004
M. Night Shyamalan has done three mainstream films. "The Sixth Sense" which is a rehash of a twist that we have seen before. "Signs" which is a homage to B-Movie films and "Unbreakable". Unbreakable is Night's most original piece but actually has no meaning and there is nothing to take away from this one at all. However there is plenty you can BRING to it because of the nostalgia of Superhero movies of the past. Night does all of that here in a modern day reworking of these themes which is played out with a hint of realism. This sort of gives it more appeal and makes it less fantastic and thus closer to reality. I will not tell you the plot or anything about it because it will ruin it for you. When released the film was based on a "man" who is the "soul-survivor" of a "trainwreck". There was no mention of Superheros when this film was released.
Now that it is tagged with that in the product description I think it is safe to say that this is a movie about a Superhero coming to terms with his own powers in the modern world. It is a good flick and well worth watching if you like the nostalgia of this theme. The film does work. The final twist does say ... "Unbreakable 2" but it is more or less there just to play with us a little and broaded the scope of the superhero theme. It is an interesting gimmick more than a plot twist here.
on July 7, 2004
Sadly, this movie was not a box office smash. And that, my friends, I just cannot figure out.
This movie is outstanding. Pure and simple. Its one of the few in my collection that I can go back to time and again and really enjoy watching.
The acting is excellent, the editing flows very well and the cinematography is great. Then there is the story and concept. Take comics and strip away the leotards, capes and unbelievable super powers and you end up with people who are amazing for believeable "powers". This concept is put into great contrast with the two main characters.
The only downside is that I think most folks will have the ending pegged before it comes around. But it remains an excellent story that is well told.
Sadly, since it did not bring in the profits it should have, we may never see a sequel or follow on effort.
on February 16, 2004
While this movie is undoubtedly not the Sixth Sense, it's not supposed to be. In almost a completely different genre, Unbreakable focuses more on the dramatic than the suspenseful, and tell and an original and creative story in a compelling way. While the movie is slower than most, that's exactly the reason it succeeds in my mind. While most moviemakers would face the reality that moviegoers now EXPECT unbelieveable chase scenes, explosions, and impossible special effects, Shyamalan thankfully keeps the pace of the film consistent and eerily placid, providing the viewer with an uncommon viewing experience.
For those who didn't like it, I think it's only because they didn't have a slot to put it in. If you in a chill mood and have an open mind, this film will not only leave you satisfied, but thinking.
on May 4, 2004
There is no way to mark Unbreakable with a specific name of a kind a movie (Sorry about my wording I just woke up.)! Let me explain...In some ways you could call it a thriller, in some ways you could call it a mystery, you could also call it a sci-fi, but theres no way to specify the kind of movie it is. I first saw this on TV and I thought it was great...still do. Anyone who's into Signs or The Sixth Sense should definitely see this movie. Also go see "The Village" July 30, 2004 and check how GREAT that will be it looks really good. But thats basically all I can say about Unbreakable, its to hard to explain how great of a movie it is. You'll just have to see it for yourself! Over and out.
on April 22, 2015
Ordinary David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has a failing marriage, a son who needs him, and a job as a security guard. However, all that changes after a severe train wreck and he is the only survivor. Even more miraculous, he is completely unharmed. When confronted by a man named Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who suggests David is invulnerable, David shrugs it off but eventually begins to test himself and discovers that maybe he’s not that ordinary after all and soon learns he can do things no other man can. At Elijah’s insistence, David explores his abilities even more and soon begins a journey that reveals maybe he is indeed unbreakable.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love superhero origin stories and Unbreakable is just that. Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan of Sixth Sense fame, Unbreakable is a story deconstructing the superhero, and suggesting a possible real life origin for these amazing people, while keeping your interest from start to finish.
Using the real-life medical condition osteogenesis imperfecta as a springboard, suggesting that if someone with such frail bones can exist, is it not possible someone with unbreakable bones—even body—can exist? And thus is the story as we follow Elijah Price as he searches out this amazing possibility in the person of David Dunn.
This movie also heavily references comic books, Elijah posing the idea that comic books are modern day retellings of stories of times past and of real people who once were able to do things other people couldn’t.
Each moment of this movie is an in-depth look at what makes the superhero tick, everything from the discovery of his power, to his motivation in using it, to the doubt that such a possibility could exist in a person, to finding a possible weakness, to balancing having this special ability with the demands of everyday life, and more.
This movie is a drama and not an action flick. While there is some action, namely toward the end, it’s a life and times superhero story that makes you stop and think about what being a person with an extraordinary ability might actually be like, if it would be easy or hard, or a bit of both. What kind of challenges would you face? What kinds of benefits?
Apparently, M. Night Shyamalan came up with the idea following the standard three-part structure of a superhero story: the origin, the rise to being a hero, then the final confrontation with the villain. The movie has all these elements, but because he found it the most interesting, Shyamalan spends most of the time focusing on the origin. As a result, there is such depth surrounding David Dunn and Elijah Price that as the hero and villain, they rival characters that have been around for decades in terms of richness. Very well done.
This movie is just so, so good and is one of my all-time favorites. It’s one of those flicks to throw on on a rainy day, get under a blanket, and get swept up in the world of the superhero only to be inspired to look for the spectacular in one’s own self.
on November 19, 2003
David Dunn ( Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a massive train wreck, and does not even suffer a single scratch. Elajah Price ( Samuel L Jackson)has a condition that leaves his bones extremely vulnerable to breaking and develops the nickname "Mr. Glass". He is also a comic book specialist. His theory is that comic book heroes walk the earth, and due to the recent events, Elajah suspects that David is one of them. The theory is based on the spectrum of life. At one end is Elajah who is incredibly weak and extremely vulnerable. At the other end is someone who is extremely strong and invulnerable. At first David refuses to believe. But Elajah soon convinces David to look into his past. David soon discovers that he has never been sick, never been injured, has exceptional strength, and possesses a unique gift that others don't....
M. Night Shyamalan made one of the most popular horror films in history with "The Sixth Sense". But in my opinion, "Unbreakable" is his best film and extremely underrated. While people often criticize this film for being too slow, and hard to understand, it still continues to be one of my favorite films. The fact that the films move slowly, is what gives the film its brilliance. The events unfold at a pace that really lets you soak in the story and what the characters are going through. The story succeeds on five different levels. The first being the trouble with David's job as a security guard and his fight to find his place in the world. The second is the trouble with his marriage, and David's relationship with his wife Audrey ( Robin Wright Penn).The third is the endless need to proove Elajah's theory wrong. The fourth is with David's son Joseph ( Spencer Treat Clark) and how he thinks his dad is a hero. The fifth being what David does with his life, after he finds the truth. All of these aspects are blended together beautifully to create a well rounded story. M. Night Shyamalan is also known for his endings. The ending to "Unbreakable" will blow you away and is extremely shocking! Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Spencer Treat Clark, and Robin Wright Penn are all spectacular in their roles. Each bring an important part to the story and are equally captivating. Finally, the camera work, set designs, and use of color are amazing, and really bring the story to life.
The VISTA SERIES DVD however, might be the thing of all. The extras are out of this world. They really let you see the film in a whole new light. You get additional scenes, a behind the scenes documentary, and much much more. This is definately a must own
on October 19, 2003
I first saw this movie in the movie theater and I have to admit that even though it kept me thrilled all the way, it just didn't appeal that much to me. It seemed slow, and as I didn't know what to expect, in the end it even seemed a bit silly. I wasn't dissapointed by the film but I didn't like it that much either. I believe that it was due to prejudism and due to the fact that at first I didn't understand the writer's point of view. Many people sounded dissapointed at the end of the film and all this negative fuss made me believe that the film wasn't that much.
I write this article after having seen the film for a third time and knowing that it is nothing less that a masterpiece. Here I present some of the factors that led me to this conclusion:
-The directing of the film leads to new directions and presents the facts clearly, with a slow but steady pace that increases in climax as the film progresses. I just admired in awe how the director perceived the scenes and presented them in film. Great - Great job!!!
-Bruce Willis is great!! Samuel Jackson is even better!! Both of them are what make the movie unique and even though a good script can boost the actor's performance no-one can say that they both act nothing less that perfect!!!
-It's a superhero film- But then it's not!! What I mean is that it's not Batman, Superman, Spiderman and all the kinda of superheroes you know of. Its the real superhero kinda of guy that really exists! He might live near you but you just don't know it. He doesn't know it. The facts are presented so well that you only have to be mind opened to accept what the writer wants to tell in his film. Nobody has done it before. Create a myth in a single movie out of nowhere. You just know that M.S. is not only a true talent but the teacher himself who knows what he does and you can trust him. Even though Signs that followed this film was weak because I believe the writer/director was in a hurry to end the film and didn't pay that much attention to the script, I can forgive him as he really doesn't have to prove anything.
So don't play this movie for your father because he won't understand it! Watch it closely, and marvel each moment as you will surely do if you like mystery films that hide the supernatural. If you don't then it is almost certainly that you won't like it as you din't like Batman, Superman, The Crow etc.
on May 25, 2003
Underrated, in a word, is M. Night Shymalan's 3rd film. His first was a little-known film, the 2nd made big with Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense), and this one reunites Shymalan and Willis, along with another screen legend, Samuel L. Jackson. It tells a strange superhero story, of David Dunn (Willis) who has extroardinary powers---he is the one and only survivor of a freak train wreck accident. Elijah (Jackson) is the complete opposite of him----he was born with all the bones broken in his body, somehow. And the plot is how Elijah tries to make Dunn believe that Dunn has superheroic powers.
James Newton Howard's score only accelerates the movie into high-gear. Comic book fans loved it, as I did, because of Elijah's museum of comic book art, and his massive collection. To keep Elijah going as a child, his mother awarded him a comic book every time he walked around.
The Vista Series DVD is a true milestone of DVD. Boasting pinnacle sound with DTS and Dolby 5.1 tracks, as well as superior picture quality of 2.35:1, Shymalan also delivers with superb special features. Well worth a buy, critics slammed Shymalan's epic, thinking it was gonna be another Sixth Sense.
on May 25, 2003
"Unbreakable" is written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film tells the story of David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis), who miraculously survives a train crash and suffers no injuries. After this his life becomes intertwined with that of Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson), a man with an unusual disability. Elijah's obsession with David drives the plot of the film.
"Unbreakable" is a powerful drama--it's an intriguing deconstruction of the whole notion of the "comic book superhero." Shyamalan does a superb job of weaving a paranormal storyline into the lives of characters who are fully fleshed and very real.
Jackson and Willis are an intriguing and unnerving screen duo. Jackson's bold, operatic performance is stunning, and is perfectly complemented by Willis' subtle but equally powerful work. They are backed up by some excellent supporting performances.
The DVD edition of the film is full of superb supplementary material. Especially intriguing are the deleted scenes, which are preceded by fascinating commentary by writer-director Shyamalan. This bonus material really illuminates the creative process behind this film and vividly shows Shyamalan's passion and craftsmanship as a cinematic artist.
In addition to being intelligently written and superbly acted, "Unbreakable" is a visually stylish film that is full of memorable images. Like Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" (a very different but also excellent take on the superhero genre), this film raises questions about heroism, destiny, choice, and how extraordinary people fit into the larger society. In short, a fine film given an excellent presentation in the DVD format.