Unbreakable This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   M. Night Shyamalan undoubtedly struck gold with "TheSixth Sense" and its paranormal, eerie mood permeating every moment.Audiences everywhere were amazed; it grossed more than $600 million worldwide,earned six Oscar nominations, and catapulted Shyamalan to a top-rung director. Ashe unveiled his next big picture, "Unbreakable," everyone wondered:could he do it again?

Sadly, the answer is no, though"Unbreakable" is not without merit. While it fails to duplicate thefabulous cinematic chemistry of "The Sixth Sense," Shyamalan's nextfilm does provide bits and pieces of a film that could have been trulygreat.

The principal failure of "Unbreakable" lies in its grossmisrepresentation of its trailers. They only reveal the very tip of the film,casting a mysterious shadow over the plot. Expectations of the film thus varywidely. The film seemed to be portrayed, for example, as an action-packedthriller, which is in sharp contrast to the actual agonizingly slow pace of themovie, which is centered more on plot and character development than actionscenes.

Aside from the pace, the theme is also completely different fromthe previews, which tried to avoid the real point. Though some may chalk this upto creating a more cryptic atmosphere, the movie actually goes straight to thepoint in the first five minutes with awkward screen text. Regardless of theintentions, when people start realizing what the film is really about, manybecome turned off. I can't help but wonder how much more the world would haveenjoyed "Unbreakable" if it had been given a proper portrayal in thetrailers.

"Unbreakable" is, in essence, a superhero andcomic-book movie. There's no doubt about this because in the very beginningcomic-book statistics appear on the screen without anyforeshadowing.

Bruce Willis stars as David Dunn, an ordinary guy who worksas a security guard. One day, while on a train trip, the train derails and killseveryone except Dunn. He emerges dazed and confused, but unscathed. Themiraculousness of this incident leads to Dunn meeting Elijah Price, a comic artdealer (Samuel L. Jackson). Price has been afflicted since birth by a conditionthat makes his bones very breakable, earning him the nickname Mr. Glass. Theextremes of the two men form the basis for the plot, which explores Dunn'samazing abilities, the relationship between Dunn and Price, and how Dunn will usehis powers.

"Unbreakable" drags on for too long, and its faultsseem to rest with the plot and writing. The ending also isn't as climactic asmany expected; it feels almost tacked on.

The film has good parts, though,and they are sprinkled throughout quite refreshingly. The plot, though sluggish,is an interesting, creative and daring concept.

It certainly takes a lotof guts to try and pull off a good superhero movie without using the sametried-and-true formula. "Unbreakable" focuses more on investigating thecore of David Dunn's psyche and is more intellectual than "X-Men." It'sthought-provoking as well, especially if you know anything about comics orsuperhero characters.

While the composition is not as refined and unifiedas "The Sixth Sense," Shyamalan does work wonders with camera angles, adreary and moody color scheme and clever references.

"Unbreakable" succeeds in creating an atmosphere and plot thatis centered on a slow yet steady development of a central character buteventually does nothing with it. If you like comic books and are fascinated withtheir characters, you may want to give this film a shot ... but if not, you'rebetter off watching something else.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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