Unbreakable (2000) 4.29/5 (2)


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Rating: The Good – 76.9
Genre: Mystery
Duration: 106 mins
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright

M. Night Shyamalan’s next outing after the hugely successful The Sixth Sense caught many people off guard but a film that focused on the real life possibility that a superhero might exist proved an interesting project (this of course was a decade before cinemas were inundated with such films). The fact that he chose to tell only the first act of the typical superhero story (where the hero discovers he has super powers) proved even more interesting and it set the tone for some rather compelling drama. Shyamalan shoots many of the scenes as if they were straight out of a comic book and his use of mirrors and upside down shots to reflect the slightly skewed perspective on the world nicely complements the premise. He moves things forward quite slowly and the minimalistic dialogue would perhaps begin to grate if James Newton Howard’s beautiful score wasn’t tailored so perfectly to the pace of the film. Willis’ performance as the hero is hugely understated but fitting to the character he plays and Samuel L. Jackson is terrific as the mysterious comic aficionado. However, the acting is let down somewhat by Spencer Treat Clark as the really quite annoying son. Unbreakable is a slow burner but the pay-off is fantastic as Shyamalan treats us to easily one of the most innovative and fascinating showdown scenes in the history of the superhero genre followed by a subtly interpretative ending.

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