Not long after M. Night Shyamalan came out with The Sixth Sense, he filmed and released a movie in 2000 called Unbreakable. If you’ve seen The Sixth Sense, you will know that it has quite a reveal at the end of the film, and know that you never, ever, tell anyone the details leading up to the surprise ending. Unbreakable is like this. Don’t worry. No spoilers from me.
David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has been looking for a job in New York City, and is on the train on the way back home to Philadelphia to his estranged wife Audrey (Robin Wright), and his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark). The train derails in a tragic accident, and David is strangely uninjured, the only survivor.
Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is an art dealer, obsessed with comic books and all things in the superhero vein. He has a medical disorder that leaves him susceptible to serious bone fractures, and has had a physically excrutiating and miserable time his entire life because of it.
After the train crash is publicized and David identified as the sole survivor, Elijah contacts David and asks him if he has ever been sick. Thus begins the building of a tentative relationship between David and Elijah. As David remembers who he is through the questions that Elijah asks, and as he recalls unusual things that have happened to him in his life, his self-awareness builds. He lets Joseph in on his journey of self-discovery, and meanwhile Audrey decides she wants to make a go of it again with David, once so distant and untouchable.
What I liked a great deal about this film were the performances by Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Bruce gives a nuanced performance as the depressed security guard searching for some meaning to his life, whereas, Samuel plays Elijah as a slightly crazed and frantic man almost stalking David around in desperation.
M. Night Shyamalan has come out with some interesting films since The Sixth Sense. I liked The Village. Lady in the Water was a little weird, but I appreciated it anyway, and reviewed the film on this blog, and Signs was absolutely terrifying. I heard Shyamalan has come out with a new film and wonder what he has in store for us this time. I have heard him interviewed, and he said Hitchcock was an inspiration to him. He takes the suspense and thrills in classic Hitchcock films even further, especially in the strong final reveal at the end of his films.
Unbreakable is rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including some disturbing violent content, and for a crude sexual reference. I suggest that anyone who enjoys superhero Marvel comic films watch this subtle and engrossing mystery. Two men so opposite of each other that you will wonder what their connection is. Are they just ordinary men, or men with extraordinary gifts?
Have you seen Unbreakable, and what did you think of it? Comment below, and happy movie watching days.