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,
Actor Bruce Willis and writer/director M. Night Shyamalan reunite after the surprise success of The Sixth Sense for this supernatural thriller. David Dunne (Willis) is taking a train from New York City back home to Philadelphia after a job interview that didn't go well when his car jumps the tracks and collides with an oncoming engine, with David the only survivor among the 131 passengers on board. Astoundingly, David is not only alive, he hardly seems to have been touched. As David wonders what has happened to him and why he was able to walk away, he encounters a mysterious stranger, Elijah Prince (Samuel L. Jackson), who explains to David that there are a certain number of people who are "unbreakable" -- they have remarkable endurance and courage, a predisposition toward dangerous behavior, and feel invincible but also have strange premonitions of terrible events. Is David "unbreakable"? And if he is, what are the physical and psychological ramifications of this knowledge?
The scene where David's son tries to shoot him to prove he has super powers is based on the popular urban legend that George Reeves was once confronted by a child who asked to shoot him with a real gun while he was in his Superman costume. According to the legend, Reeves, just like David, got the boy to put the gun down by convincing him it would ricochet and hurt someone else. See more »
The position of the newspaper between David Dunn sliding it to his son, and where it is when the son reads the headline. See more »
You made that decision, and I find that very, very interesting. Now all I need is your credit card number...
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Early previews of the movie didn't have the superimposed text ending, leaving a more open ending. This version was released in France in theaters, but the text was next included in TV, video and DVD. See more »
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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