Apartment building superintendent Cleveland Heep rescues what he thinks is a young woman from the pool he maintains. When he discovers that she is actually a character from a bedtime story who is trying to make the journey back to her home, he works with his tenants to protect his new friend from the creatures that are determined to keep her in our world.
M. Night Shyamalan
Bryce Dallas Howard,
This suspense thriller unfolds as the audience is introduced to David Dunn. Not only is he the sole survivor of a horrific train-crash that killed 131 people he doesn't have a scratch on him. Elijah Price is an obscure character who approaches Dunn with a seemingly far fetched theory behind it all. Written by
My kudos to M. Night Shyamalan for proving the consistency of his moviemaking abilities. "Unbreakable" is a movie that is rich in both technical brilliance as well as script quality.
First, let me get my one objection for the movie off my chest. The ending could have been done better. The majority of the length of "Unbreakable" does an excellent job of building suspense, with the wonderfully muted, melancholy acting adding depth and tension to the plot. My problem is that it fails to live up to its own expectations; the ending does not consummate entirely what I expected it to. Somehow, in a movie that took painstaking details to illustrate every step and glance, concluding it in the manner that it did felt almost blasphemous. Maybe in a nameless action thriller it could be passed off as mere hackery. But here, it seems strangely out of place, kind of an enigma in itself...
Now that the ugly part is over with, I feel almost obligated to sing the praises of "Unbreakable". Shyamalan's prowess with photographic techniques and processes shows through in this, with rich reds and blacks given to scenes of moist emotion and colder colors dedicated to the bleak, uncaring (uncared for?) world. One technique I particularly liked was the manipulation of photographic mediums, some parts using crisp 35mm films and others using angry, shuttered magnetic (or 16mm?) film. In the end, it all worked very well, because each technique seemed to integrate seamlessly with the plot and mood (notice the confusion and panic at the very end?) "Traffic" is a good example of processing overdose. "Unbreakable", on the other hand, hones it perfectly. The lushness of this movie comes in close second to the wonderful eye candy of "American Beauty". I could watch it again easily... with the sound turned off!
On the more human side of the spectrum, the acting was wonderful. How nice it is to see Bruce Willis proving himself to be a true A-class actor! His unassuming and insecure behavior worked *perfectly* for this role. Samuel L. Jackson, like always, did a bang-up job with what the script gave him. Robin Wright and Spencer Clark's characters seemed a bit two dimensional, but they seemed to be minor roles compared to the prominence of Willis and Jackson's characters. A little character development would have been appreciated, but if the ending was a result of the time-constraint guillotine, then I would expect the developmental scenes to have gone too.
The thing that people seem to complain most about this movie is the plot. I like the premise. A little fantasy in our movies isn't such a bad thing once in a while, is it?
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