Day 13: Unbreakable (2000) — I prefer to call it by its German title, Unzerbrechlich (it’s a bit easier to say)

I always thought if I was offered the choice of one super power, I would choose the ability to teleport. No more waiting in lines at the airport, sitting in traffic, or frantically trying to find my travel shampoo bottle that meets the 3 ounce requirement. I could visit my family on a whim—instantly skipping the thousand mile trek via plane, train, or automobile. If I wanted, I could see all of the New Wonders of the World (imagine that being said with the dramatic echo effect) in a single day and still have time to take the dog for a walk when I returned. Life would be sweet. Sure, occasionally  I may be called upon to help if the need arose, but I would gladly assist (as long as it wasn’t on weekends or holidays– you have to set limits with these things or people will walk all over you).


However, if super powers were ever doled out, I expect that I would be granted some dorky power. Maybe I would end up with the power to know a driver will turn left in their car when they don’t use their turn signal. Or, perhaps I would have the uncanny ability to push play on recorded TV at the exact moment the commercials stop and my show starts. More than likely, I would end up as Catwoman– able to somehow draw all stray cats to her house and then feel obligated to take care of them.


However, super powers are apparently not all fun and games like the graphic novels would lead you to believe. How do I know this? Well, friends, I just watched Unbreakable, so I learned quite a bit about this today (even more than I learned while watching Heroes, which, admittedly ended up confusing me more on the subject after I saw seasons 2 & 3).


Unbreakable stars Bruce Willis as David, a security guard who miraculously survives a terrible train accident without any injury. He is confronted by Elijah (played by Samuel L. Jackson), a man who suffers from a disease that makes his bones extremely fragile. Elijah believes David is, in fact, unbreakable, and presses this issue. David seems reluctant to accept this theory– that in essence, he has super powers. But, as the film progresses, David learns he just may have extraordinary abilities. I will leave the plot at that in case you are one of the two people in the world (besides me before today) who have yet to see this film.


Of course, as in any M. Night Shyamalan film, there is a twist. This twist is less shocking but more believable (in the context of the story) than many of his other plot twists (I can’t even think of Signs or The Happening without shouting “really?” several times to no one in particular).


I have to admit that I liked this film more than I thought I would. I was absolutely dumbfounded at The Happening— I thought it was a joke, but alas, it was not. However, this film was fairly solid. I enjoyed how it approached the idea of a superhero as an “ordinary” person– one that doesn’t even know if he truly has abilities or is just crazy. It was also interesting to see how David and his son interacted, as his son believed him to be a hero early on.


I liked both Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in this film and felt they were interesting characters. They were clearly foils (which is also essential for the plot), but also developed a friendship over time. I appreciate the exploration of the hero and villain dichotomy—they are forces both in opposition, yet one needs the other in order to exist.


Finally, I found the ending to be the weakest part of the film. I know, we all expect a twist in Shyamalan’s films, but this was about as surprising as the villain in a horror movie, who everyone thought was dead, opening his eyes in the last seconds of the film. I guess I was just hoping for a more solid ending, as I always do for his films (Really? It’s the flipping plants?).


That said, I must depart. I feel there is a cat in need of rescuing….


Score: C+

Netflix Queue: 477 (Jeez! It will take me a while to break 400! 🙂 )

One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Jens

    Heeeey… I’m one of those two people!

    Lol, cats.

    August 11th, 2010

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