Movie Review: Unbreakable

Details: Released in 2000. About an hour and forty-five minutes long. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Stars Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.

Up until recently, there were arguably only two movies that M. Night Syamalan that were generally regarded as good. The first is The Sixth Sense. Most people loved that movie and it was Shyamalan’s big debut movie. The second, and more controversial movie is Unbreakable. A lot of people I know liked Signs, but there were still enough people who didn’t like it that I didn’t consider as good. Most people I know who’ve seen Unbreakable enjoyed it.

That changed recently with the release of Split, which is now undoubtedly a box office success. This review isn’t about Split, but what spurred me to watch Unbreakable (finally) is that there is a scene at the very end of Split that connects to Unbreakable. Split is still a stand alone movie and, except for that final connecting scene, has nothing to do with Unbreakable. With that said, Shyamalan has tweeted that he has an outline for a sequel film that will be a sequel to both Split and Unbreakable. So, it’s time to watch Unbreakable.

Unbreakable is about a man who is the sole survivor of a train crash. Not only did he survive, he survives without a single injury. The rest of the movie is about discovering what is going on with him.

I won’t say anymore about the plot because, like all Shyamalan’s films, the best parts of the film are generally the reveals and the build up to those reveals.

I’ve read a lot of article and opinions about the film. I don’t know how true this is, but I read somewhere that when Shyamalan was originally introduced to the script, he took out all of acts two and three and just made about movie about act one. I don’t know how true any of that is, but it undoubtedly feels that way. It felt like he took act one, which is usually just the introduction into the world of the film, and stretched it out into a film that’s about an hour an a half long. The ending is abrupt and not even acted out. Shyamalan literally relies on onscreen text to explain the ending of the film. However, even with all these unforced filmmaking errors, I still enjoyed this film.

I enjoyed the premise of the film. I enjoyed the slow, Shyamalan pacing. I enjoyed the reveals. I even enjoyed watching Bruce Willis playing the same, quiet, brooding character he always plays in every role outside of the Die Hard series. Additionally, Shyamalan has a small part in this film, which is kind of cool.

Overall, not a bad film, but certainly not great. I look forward to the sequel tying this film and Split together and hopefully starring both Willis and McAvoy.

Score: 6/10

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