Unbreakable – The first time Samuel L. Jackson played Nick Fury. Finding super-powered individuals. Chose a dark path though.
Now that CBM’s have saturated the market, there seems to be a lack of imagination in them. While a few good ones such as The Dark Knight and Winter Soldier incorporate sub-genres (political thriller, in this case) they are still superhero movies at their core and they tend to fall victim to the third act of fighting the big bad guy and saving the world. Often I find myself demanding a good CBM with a difference.
And here it was, all this time, playing in theatres back in 2000.
Unbreakable is a story about a security guard David (Willis) who finds out his bones are unbreakable after surviving a train accident and escaping unscratched. Contacted by Elijah (Jackson), David is encouraged to discover and test the limits of his gift. It may seem like an ordinary origin story, but Shyamalan‘s approach to the premise is quite offbeat. His slow-paced, suspense build-up style works well in his favour. His portrayal of a common household drama, the long shots, the inclusion of mature themes such as rape and murder, the lack of cartoony action and explosions help keep the movie grounded in reality. The overall atmosphere seems to be that of an Oscar-caliber movie.
It’s also let down a bit by the somewhat unsatisfying plot (that’s usually where a lot of well-directed movies tend to fall short).
Shyamalan being a master of twists weaves a tale so layered yet so simple. Despite this, the overall result tends to dwarf in comparison to his earlier, much superior work The Sixth Sense. The reason? The lack of an ambitious storyline. Makes for an underwhelming conclusion.
Maybe that’s why CBM’s tend to go out with a bang.
Even with all the minor complaints, Unbreakable happens to be one solid watch. Purely for it excellent direction and acting, it deserves to be viewed and appreciated.
Rating : 3/5