Why Unbreakable is the superhero movie you been waiting for.
Unbreakable, (Shyamalan, 2000) this is a strange one. I contended it is the second best super hero movie ever made after ‘The Dark Knight'(Nolan, 2008) and just a great movie period. Yet it is criminally underrated few people talk about it in the pantheons of great movies and when people talk Shyamalan they usually talk about the ‘The Sixth Sense’ and how he hasn’t made a great movie since then. Let’s be 100% clear. He has and it was called Unbreakable
It was released a year after Shyamalan huge successful ‘The Sixth Sense'(Shyamalan, 1999) which made $672,806,292 Worldwide (2016, 1990) ‘The Sixth Sense’ is now a cultural touch stone. The twist ending (don’t worry I won’t be spoiling) remains iconic around the world today.Shyamalan followed ‘The sixth sense’ up with the brilliant and I would argue superior ‘Unbreakable’. From a purely money point of view ‘Unbreakable’ made $249,511,339 Worldwide (Touchstone, 2000) almost a third less than ‘The Sixth sense’. Which I just don’t understand they both start Bruce Willis they both have brilliant twist endings and have amazing original score by James Newton Howard.
People tend to say Spiderman (Raimi, 2002) was the start of the recent superhero fad we are still living through. I say those people haven’t seen or didn’t realize ‘Unbreakable’ is a superhero movie. It is a film that is very little on super and all about the hero. It doesn’t have anyone in really tight spandex, doesn’t have huge explosions or CGI, doesn’t have marvels quick witted characters and is entirely free of any ‘Stan Lee’ cameos. Though it does have a cameo from Shyamalan himself which frankly actually I could have done without. So it doesn’t have any of the usual superhero troupes in it. Yet it is all the better for not having them. It is a film, for adults. Not a film which is for teenagers/ kids which throws in a slightly old reference only the adults get, it is a proper grown up film.
If it isn’t for kids, it is for everyone else. The film is accessible to everyone because it is about humans. All the characters in the story are lost ‘David Dunn’ (Bruce Willis) is a security guard at the college football stadium where he used to be a star and is currently having marital problems with his wife ‘Audrey Dunn’ (Robin Wright). This has also made their son ‘Joseph Dunn'(Spencer Treat Clark) isolated, we don’t learn that much about him other than he gets into a fight and school and looks constantly sad. Outside of the family you have ‘Elijah Price’ (Samuel L Jackson) who has exceedingly brittle bones and has as of a consequence been unable to take part in my post actives that people take for granted in fear of suffering injuries. The performances from ‘Bruce Willis’ and ‘Samuel L Jackson’ are particularly stunning. Everyone in life has felt lost, should I take this job or that one, which university should I go to. Should I buy the semi-skimmed or full fat milk? Just like we have these issues so do these characters. That is what makes them feel far more real than any Marvel movie character.
I would love to hear your feedback on this article and feel free to suggested films which I could write about next.
Next film will be discussed next week.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv0WlHbBhdc Quentin Tarantino top 20 movies released between 1992 and 2009.
http://www.jasminjodry.com/unbreakable/ Cover Photo, all credits to this website.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsSDFwKh2h0&list=PL392B08090DE07C75 James Newton Howard’s wonderful original score.
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