Unbreakable (2000)

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good story, strong acting

Lots of build up with not enough pay off

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Unbreakable

Studio:  Blinding Edge Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  November 22, 2000

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Oh no! Rain…It is like my Kryptonite!

A train wrecks in a horrible accident. All the passengers are killed except David Dunn (Bruce Willis) who walks away uninjured. Dunn questions why he survived.  He’s a man whose marriage is falling apart and is just a security guard at a school. When a stranger named Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) comes to and tells him that he believes he’s a superhero, David is about to discover that Elijah could be right.  With Dunn’s son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) believing him, David Dunn begins to determine if what Elijah says could be true…and if he is a superhero, what he can do with his powers.

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Unbreakable is a science-fiction superhero movie and was his follow-up to Shyamalan’s big 1999 hit the Oscar nominated The Sixth Sense. The movie was met with favorable reviews but many felt it wasn’t up to the level of The Sixth Sense.

After The Sixth Sense, M. Night Shyamalan was a hot, hot commodity.  The out-of-nowhere supernatural thriller was both a blockbuster and critical success.  Everyone was eager for Shyamalan’s follow-up…but not everyone was expecting Unbreakable.

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I’m sorry, you can wave that comic book all you want I can’t stop staring at your hair

I actually like Unbreakable more than The Sixth Sense and believe it is Shyamalan’s best film. Both Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense have the same problem. The plots of the movie primarily deal with building up origin story to a one-time event. In The Sixth Sense, the child character solves the problem of the mother who killed her child by listening to the ghosts, here is realizing his powers and stops a serial killer. It is a lot of build-up but it feels like there isn’t enough payoff.

Unbreakable’s plot is what sells it for me. It is a very Watchmenlike story that has characters that feel real with super-powers. The twist ending doesn’t feel like it is as much for shock as it is for actual plot of the story, and it wasn’t as obvious as the plot twist in The Sixth Sense. The only problem with Unbreakable is that for years there was only Unbreakable instead of a series of movies.  With this in mind, Unbreakable feels like an origin story with no real superhero story to follow it.

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We’re two fly guys going for a walk

Bruce Willis and the cast of Unbreakable are strong. Samuel L. Jackson is less “yell-y” than his other roles and is a bit more subdue (his hair is crazy enough to make up for it). Willis is just like he is in The Sixth Sense and other movies…broody and not much range, but it works here. Spencer Treat Clark also does a good job as his son (and also did a nice job in Gladiator).  Like Alfred Hitchcock, M. Night Shyamalan often inserts himself into his own movie…unfortunately, he tries to act more and should stick with the cameos.

I like Unbreakable, and I feel it is a bit under-appreciated. The movie is a nice superhero movie, and in a cinematic landscape that is now littered with superhero movies, it is still a bit different than other films. After years of speculation, Unbreakable finally received a surprise sequel in Split and then was rounded out in Glass which completed the trilogy for both David Dunn and Elijah Price.

Related Links:

Split (2016)

Glass (2019)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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