Tiny Couch Review

Unbreakable, 2000

  • lucidunicorn
    lucidunicorn
    Super Critic

    60 posts
    Signed up the 29/03/2017

    On 01/07/2017 at 12:12 Quote this message

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    The film follows David Dunn who survives a train wreck and comes out uninjured and later learns that there might be more to him than meets the eye as he encounters Elijah Price a man who introduces David to a brave new world of heroes and villains.

    The film stars Bruce Willis (David) and Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah) in lead roles with Robin Wright and Spencer Treat Clark in supporting roles. The film is directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

    Unbreakable is a perfect example of a superhero film that broke away from genre tropes and just became a film but to be fair this was a few years before the boom of the “superhero tent pole age”. I found Unbreakable to be a rare look into the humanization of “superhuman” characters. David is just a security guy with marriage problems and barely speaking to his wife Megan, and David seems to be going through a mid-life crisis (I would say) and he has just lost his will (to live, to be happy, to be human) but he’s trying, he is just a lost soul, and his internal struggles were so intriguing to me, and for me a character works if we the audience can identify with them and boy do we identify. Willis is brilliant in the role of David, a shining star and the chemistry between him and Robin is so explosive, their close and intimate scenes are majestic, Megan is not just a wife that’s there by the sidelines but she’s an actual human being with her own dealings and emotional character arc.

    Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah character though is a different story, a “villain” that’s so confident in himself and his flaws, all he wants in life is to find his complete opposite, the strength to his fragility. Jackson is so menacing and fierce but in a quiet way that doesn’t make one eye role or cringe and Jackson brings in a charm and intelligence the character required. There’s a certain attractiveness to this character and would fit right in the modern pop culture world of audiences rooting for the bad guys.

    The movie itself is beautiful, suspenseful and wrongly placed I think, this film would have been an amazing breath of fresh air in our current age of superhero cinema. The movie would have given us a break from the brooding tortured soul of the Bruce Wayne, the complicated timelines of Xavier’s students, the rushed adventures of the skwd (Suicide Squad for you non-heathens), the trying to be unique worlds of Dawn of Justice and the patriotic struggles of Steve Rogers. Unbreakable would have been what Deadpool and Wonder Woman did for the genre and show us that it doesn’t always have to be the above mentioned.

    I loved the misdirection used here by Shyamalan, he gets us so involved in the lives of these characters and we think the movie is about them but in the third act we realize that this is the origin story of a potential “superhero”, this is David’s very own “with great power comes great responsibility”, and there’s even a “why do we fall Bruce?” moment. Shyamalan tried to have an iconic twist ending here but it fell flat.

    Quentin Tarantino was quoted saying that “Unbreakable is a film about Superman, not knowing he is Superman.” And for once I agree with the asshole.

    Overall I really liked this movie and it’s a gem.

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