Cinemaster Score: 7/10
Unbreakable is quite possibly the most underrated superhero movie of all time – not because it’s super amazing but because nobody gives the film its deserved credit. Relatable characters, relevant subject matter, tremendous acting, and a grounded tone shows us that not all superhero films are glitz and glamour. A strong script with a unique plot line give us memorable moments we won’t soon forget. The use of practical effects over CGI truly immerses the viewer into the world. But Unbreakable isn’t some adrenaline fueled action movie. It isn’t afraid to get slow, and at times be “boring”. While these moments are interesting, they can sometimes be too dull to grasp audiences. Although, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson give their all, showing the range they possess as actors. Sure, they don’t have the name brand quality of say, Iron Man, but they are strong performances nonetheless. Of course, many will dismiss this as a throwaway cash grab. But when movies like this take risks, it reassures us that there will always be genre breaking films to look forward to in the future.
Acting; Unbreakable, is one of the best acted “superhero” movies I’ve ever seen. Bruce Willis is at his best, bringing a refreshing realism to the role. Samuel L. Jackson provides a unique take on the “villain” aspect of the film, showing us the fixation we have on heroic figures. The supporting cast is well-rounded, with strong performances punctuating most of the film. Thanks to the believable acting, the subject matter is all the more impactful and relatable.
Script; The script to Unbreakable is perfect for the film itself. It gives the audience a deeper insight about what makes a hero and showing how having super-human abilities impacts someone emotionally. It also has a rather interesting narrative from Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson). The narrative brings an interesting concept psychologically and thins the line between this movie’s “good” and “evil”. Even beyond Jackson and Willis’ characters, the side characters have great lines that – while not being memorable – are powerful and keep the tone tense as the situation. Overall Unbreakable’s unique script becomes a major part of what sets it apart from other films in merit.
Characters; David Dunn and Elijah Price. These names may seem unrecognizable, but that’s because their roles are so subdued yet so vital. They don’t exhibit traits of your typical superheroes or villains because they are made with substance over style in mind. Yet, they still feel relevant thanks to the message they provide. Dunn’s wife and son are what holds him together, giving him support and adding to the plot rather than feeling pasted into the film. Although at times you may be looking for more dramatic characters like those in modern superhero movies, Unbreakable instead pushes more relatable people into unique situations. These situations strengthen the relationship between the audience and the characters, making us care for their actions. A feeling that is usually absent from the majority of superhero movies.
Direction; M. Night Shyamalan (Director) was trying to tell a story about a “hero” that could relate to an everyday person – putting the “human” in “superhuman” if you will. He wanted to create characters that didn’t quite fit in with society and that was what made them special. Shyamalan took his early negative reviews from The Sixth Sense and turned them into motivation to create such a great film in Unbreakable. Shyamalan’s world is perfect because it takes place in reality. It is a story about reality, not about heroics. One about realizing you’re beyond average and figuring out what to do with those abilities. M. Night Shyamalan didn’t want some flashy comic story, but an interesting, thought-provoking one about the true struggles of heroism. That in mind, he executed his directing beautifully in Unbreakable, making a movie years ahead of its time yet still relevant today.
Story; The story of Unbreakable is tightly woven, with a stirring plot that slowly unravels until the twist finale. Not a second is wasted, as we’re immediately drawn in by the dynamic between David Dunn (Bruce Willis), and the mysterious persona of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson). Instead of being portrayed as a blockbuster superhero movie, Unbreakable is a rather meta driven film that brings a unique perspective to the genre. There is no black and white in this film, but a grey area where no one is truly “good” or truly “evil”. A very original and intriguing plot drives Unbreakable past other movies in the genre
Enjoyment; Unbreakable is indeed a movie that you can enjoy watching. Despite it’s use of realism throughout, it is enjoyable – in a different way. Unbreakable isn’t the kind of superhero movie with an obvious antagonist and a protagonist jumping in to save the day because it’s what is right. Nor is it one in which there is action being the film’s driving force. Therefore it isn’t for everyone and it’s calmest scenes can be boring, yet aren’t bland in dialogue. But, Unbreakable is enjoyable by giving the audience something to think about. It gives an insight on the reality of having “superhuman” abilities and makes the antagonist’s motivation almost reasonable. All that in consideration – if you can look past the less interesting scenes and lack of intense action scenes – Unbreakable is a great movie to watch.
David: “I enjoy Unbreakable quite a bit because of its depth and thought-provoking concepts. If I was with someone who wanted to see it then I’d likely join in but it isn’t super rewatchable for me because of its slow pacing. Still, Unbreakable is a pretty good movie and an awesome concept from M. Night Shyamalan”
JP: “Unbreakable, while not one of my favorites, is still undeniably a great film. If it was on television I would watch it, and find the plot easy to follow, and certain moments very entertaining. At times it was a little TOO slow for my taste (and I usually don’t mind slow), but it was still interesting to watch.”