IMDb Rating: 7,3/10
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright
Superhero, comic book and things related to them are not uncommon in Hollywood. It’s not something that isn’t achievable again when comparing it at the time because there were not too many comic books movies or related to superheroes. “Unbreakable” takes a concept about superheroes from the other side. It’s not a movie about good against bad, but this movie is more of an exploitation of someone who has superpowers. The third series, “Glass” that will be directed by M. Night Shyamalan become a conclusion for the two previous series, this movie and “Split” and as always, M. Night Shyamalan always provided a twist which was never expected even though I didn’t like “The Sixth Sense” for several reasons. “Unbreakable” seems to be an underrated movie from all the movies that the director worked on and in fact, they don’t like it because it’s not like “The Sixth Sense’s” plot twist at the time. Well, I prefer this movie rather than “The Sixth Sense” which I think is predictable compared to this.
Security Guard David Dunn miraculously survives a catastrophic train crash outside Philadelphia. Not only is he the sole survivor out of 132 passengers, he also is completely unharmed. A little later, comic book specialist Elijah Price contacts him to confront David with an incredible theory: Elijah, who has been nicknamed “Mr. Glass” due to his more than fragile bones, thinks that David has got all which he himself lacks. The two of them “seem to be linked by a curve, but sitting on opposite ends”. First, David does not believe the strange man, but every single thing he had said proves to be true: David has never ever been hurt or sick in his life, his physical strength is larger than normal and he has a skill which others don’t. Slowly, David begins to discover the shocking truth behind Mr. Price’s assumptions. But after all, David’s fate is not only to find his real place in the world. It also is about proving Elijah’s theory of his own existence.
“Unbreakable” focuses more on the process of achieving a conclusion and creating it to give a twist like M. Night Shyamalan’s trademark. For me, “Unbreakable” doesn’t expect much expectation because the pace is slow but the way of its execution is perfect. This movie is not like your everyday superhero movies but it’s more to a person mentality, what it feels like to have a superpower. This movie provides more in puzzles and constantly keeps a mystery element without showing it to viewers. So, this is what makes “Unbreakable” hard for critics to take because they are more comparing the twist at the end than the process. “The Sixth Sense” has an impression which doesn’t cover the plot hole at first so I can predict it but the movie has a perfect execution style yet it’s never rushed. On the other hand, “Unbreakable” leads to the choice of the main character, whether he can accept the truth or not and I also didn’t really see the twist coming at the end.
This is a story about David Dunne, a security guard who cannot believe in himself because he was the only one who survived in a train accident that killed 100 more peoples. David Dunne is not a superhero but not an ordinary person. There is a connection when comparing the two things. First of all, David has a weakness inside. Every morning he’d wake up, for some reason, there is a hole in his heart which it makes him unhappy. Second, he is a superhuman but without a cape. At first, he didn’t accept anything which had saved him in the accident but he learned that his past had never been physically hurt. With a superhero without a cape, he finally understands how a choice can inspire many people from behind, encouraging someone to live without any restrictions. So, who exactly is David Dunne? Is he just an ordinary person? Is that his own destiny? Well, David Dunne is neither a superhero nor a human, but he is more like in the midst of the situation. He isn’t a superhero who shows himself too much but he is also happy in normal life.
Elijah Price, on the other hand, is a comic book collector that has weaknesses: he is like a glass. He is more like an alter ego for David. Therefore, he was called as Mr. Glass because of his fragility which makes his bones so broken. Because of his weakness, he spent more time reading comics after he saw David Dunne as a person who really had superhero powers, he immediately wanted to interview him like someone who had inspired him. This Elijah’s character reminds me of a documentary television show called “Stan Lee’s Superhumans” about searching a superhuman real-life throughout the world. Elijah is so different from David. He likes using his intelligence as handling the circumstances around him. He uses a lot of knowledge from what he got in the comics he reads. Elijah is more directed to someone who loves his job so much that he wants to explore more. His first meeting with David was strange, but the more they learned from understanding each other, there was a bond unconsciously became a friend.
Audrey Dunn as David Dunn’s wife is a different story but has a connection to David. Her character is so real which it humans really need a second chance. Even though in this movie doesn’t explain too much about their past between David and Audrey, I understand it clean. In fact, she was so grateful how her husband survived miraculously because of the accident that struck her but on the other hand, she became afraid of her feelings. He was very afraid of what would happen with her husband so she said that she wanted to do it again from the beginning, rebuilding a relationship since their life died inside so that there was no regret anymore. Joseph as David’s son is inspirational to his father. His respect for his father couldn’t be said that he really loved his father as a superhero without a cape. Although there isn’t much I can discover, he is a figure who almost destroyed himself because of his love for his father who was almost in the wrong decision.
When talking about the ending in this movie, I love how M. Night Shyamalan built it up slowly but it’s not that memorable. Besides, I also never expected it to be different from “The Sixth Sense.” Just like a quote said by Elijah said:
“Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here.”
Seems like a few references to “The Sixth Sense.” Actually, “Unbreakable” is more about a person’s decision. It’s not an everyday superhero movie which has one purpose: to save the world and peoples from any threats. “Unbreakable” doesn’t have a superhero nor villain because we don’t know what to worry and to believe. When a villain turns into a superhero as well as a superhero turns into a villain, the most relevant idea to consider this movie is; who are they? What is their fundamental intent? A collector? A security guard? Alike the last line uttered by Samuel L. Jackson:
“In a comic, you know how you can tell the arch-villain’s going to be? The exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends, like you and me!”
The actors in this movie give an excellent performance of low-key. Although not too serious in terms of drama, Samuel L. Jackson is, as usual, an insane character, a person with fragile intelligence about things around him. Bruce Willis, who is also previously cast in “The Sixth Sense“, gave his best performance that didn’t attract some unique things, but he is just encouraged so much mysteries in this movie. Not many action scenes recognize that this is a superhero movie but the built-up with the James Newton Howard’s score is so intense. Each scene is really slow but isn’t too long. It’s well-executed like “The Sixth Sense” and I didn’t expect a twist at the end. “Unbreakable” is one of the underrated Shyamalan’s movies that people seem to forget.
“Unbreakable” is not too memorable, but this movie is definitely one I like best from all M. Night Shyamalan’s works. Sure, he’s not the best director ever, getting his movies such as “The Last Airbender,” “After Earth,” and “The Happening” sucks in a way. With a not-too-exaggerating performance from the actors, the unexpected twist from the beginning, the characters, and all the aspects, it’s not your everyday superhero typical movies. “Unbreakable” is one that people forget because they look at his approved movie and his bad movies as I mentioned shortly. “Unbreakable” explains more the decision of a superhero in admitting himself, how he can fight his fear, and how he can accept his mistakes; and a little dark humor in it.