Joe's Preview Review:
M. Night Shamalayan's highly
anticipated follow up to
The Sixth Sense. The preview gives
you enough to tempt without
ruining anything. The
prefect trailer, the movie looks amazing.
Joe's Film Review:
When seeing the most anticipated film of the year, you
must expect a letdown. How can a movie live up to the overhype-
machine that runs 24 hours a day and at least 365 days a year
in Hollywood? Then on top of that, the director is coming off
one of the biggest sleeper hits of all time in The Sixth
Sense. Big promotion, high expectations, and the best looking
preview of the 21st Century. Unbreakable takes all of these
things in stride.
Unbreakable is about a man named David Dunn. He thinks
he's a normal man droning his way through life until he meets
Elijah. David has escaped a horrific train wreck unharmed. He
has a new lease on life. Elijah wants to tell him why.
That's a small outline of the plotline. With this
critique I'm going to stick to reviewing the performances
and the filmmaking aspects rather than plot.
Bruce Willis is a perfect everyday man type guy, making
him just right for the role. His blank stares, his quick turns,
that shaved head combine to make him the ideal actor for the
role. Best of all, he's not wearing that awful toupee from
The Sixth Sense and The Kid. His performance is excellent,
giving the film it's protagonist.
Samuel L. Jackson's weirdo comic auteur with an
alternative fashion sense is a perfect yang to Willis' ying.
This out there prototypical whacko with a mad scientist
hairdo is driven by his childhood comic book devotion which
he feels are a driving force behind the world. Comics are a
way of portraying history. An eccentric art gallery owner
that you find yourself feeling sorry for due to his life
hardships. His childhood flashbacks provide for some of the
more interesting scenes in the film.
One thing I truly hated about the film was the performance
from the leading kid played by Spencer Treat Clark.
Director M. Night Shyamalan seems to have a thing for
kids giving them pivotal, central roles ion his movies. This
kids was pesky and annoying. He was a big part of some of the
classic scenes in the movie such as the weightlifting scene,
which I'll describe later but throughout the movie he kept
crying like a little girl. I just wanted to put my fingers
around his neck and squeeze so he'd stop moaning and bitching
over just about anything. His mom portrayed by Robin Wright
Penn wasn't much better. She was a depressing wench but that
was the point of her role. You were supposed to feel for the
kid. I hated the kid.
Disney paid over $10 million dollars to Shyamalan for
his script and for him to direct Unbreakable. They got their
$10 million dollars worth. Shyamalan beautifully arranges
odd camera angles together with slow zooms, and unique pan
shots to make symphony on film. Whether filming between seat
headrests on a train from the eyes of a little girl or
watching TV upside down through the eyes of a young boy,
Shyamalan finds the most effective and intriguing way to
film each and every scene to give each little piece of the
film its own different look.
With the release of this film, Shyamalan has earned
steady footing on the grounds of the filmmaking elite. He's a
young man who is quickly becoming the future of Hollywood.
Finally, a young mainstream director that makes interesting
films. The words good and mainstream don't often come in
contact with each other but they combine for Shyamalan. A
visionary in the thriller genre in the footsteps of Hitchcock;
soon people will be waiting for the yearly release
from Shyamalan just like they did for Hitchcock in the 50's
Cinematographer Eduardo Sierra, who made some amazing
visions come true in What Dreams May Come should get
some of the credit for the odd camera angles. I had the feeling
Shyamalan would shoot a scene from anywhere. The use of
mirrors in the film is brilliant. Outside roadblocks are brought
into many of the scenes so you shouldn't feel like you're part of
the story but more of a far off observer, you are like the child
trying to butt in on a conversation between adults.
The effectiveness of the film is exemplified in one of its
most basic scenes. David is checking the limits of his
newfound strength with the assistance of his son. In the
scene, weight is continually added until David maxes out the
bench press weight set. He surprised himself, he shocked his
son, and he thrills the audience. All of this and he had made
an important progression in the film. David is beginning to
believe that he's more than he thinks. He has gone past his
previous boundaries, forcing them outward. A scene that may
scene as a joke to many is the most effective in the entire
The film has some truly great lines, lots of terrific foreshadowing,
and obvious messages but the best comes during
Elijah's childhood from his mother. She says "They say this
one has a surprise ending." A perfectly placed line recited
seamlessly by Charlayne Woodard. She's commenting on the comic she
has bribed her son with to go and play with outside. She
bribes him because he is constantly made fun of. She's
being a good mother. It's one of my favorite lines of the
Unbreakable is a perfect dark, suspenseful,
Hitchcockian type thriller with the perfect rhythm and
sense of timing Shyamalan showed with his first hugely
successful pic, The Sixth Sense. Unbreakable is a movie worth
its weight in expectations. Shyamalan meshes elements from
all over to make a nearly perfect suspense thriller/ dark
comedy / superhero story. An interesting movie with good
twists worth seeing...
Rating: 3.5 out of 4 Stars
Running Time 117 minutes
Rated PG-13 for
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn,
and Spencer Treat Clark.
Written and Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense,