Unbreakable, the new movie from M. Night Shyamalan, fully captures the writer/director’s signature style and ability to catch the audience off guard.
If you are expecting a movie like The Sixth Sense, Shyamalan’s last film, prepare to be disappointed. This is the first of many positive attributes to the movie and Shyamalan. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) works as a security guard at the University of Pennsylvania. His character is an ordinary blue-collar worker with a marriage on the rocks and child. That ordinariness ends abruptly when he becomes the sole survivor of major train wreck. He leaves the wreck completely unharmed, hence the title of the movie.
Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) couldn’t be more opposite. He has a genetic disorder that leaves his body breakable resulting in his nickname: Mr. Glass. Price finds Dunn after the train wreck to share with him a theory he has on the miracle that happened. That’s the extent of major plot points that I’m letting you in on.
Unlike the Sixth Sense, the child doesn’t see dead people, but Dunn does see danger. He can see the immediate past of people that walk by him and he can tell when someone has a gun. At first Dunn dismisses this, but mounting facts and the persistence of Price force him to face the truth.
And unlike the Sixth Sense, where Willis’ character discovers himself in the end, this story is more of a journey and the eventual realization of the truth that he’s been told about since the beginning. The twist this time around happens in the end between Dunn and Price and their relationship.
I will say this much, Unbreakable pulls off this story line without falling into the pit where other attempts have ended up and been forgotten about.
Willis has again proven that he is a serious actor, as do the performances by all of the actors. Fortunately, the script builds each character beyond two dimensions.
Robin Wright Penn returns to the big screen as David’s wife Audrey and his son Joseph is played by Spencer Treat Clark. Both of these actors add to the awkwardness of the family.
Jackson and Willis’ past movies as a team helped the chemistry between the two, and it helped that Willis had just worked with Shyamalan. Shyamalan’s familiarity with the Philadelphia area (he lives just outside the city) contributed greatly as well. Temple, Drexel and University of Pennsylvania all find their way into the movie.
Shyamalan’s directing has changed some for the better. There are more daring shots and choreography with the camera. Granted, these fit in with some small clues that lead toward the end.
Once again, the plot is riddled with clues that reveal the ending and they appear to be just part of the movie. In the end, though, they aren’t recounted, but many of them pop up at you as you leave the theater contemplating the foreshadowing.
Unbreakable is an impressive movie and it will be interesting to see where Shyamalan goes from here. This is definitely a movie to add to your holiday viewing.