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:: Unbreakable

This has been a highly anticipated film because it marks the follow-up feature film by M Night Shyamalan to his smash hit of 1999, “The Sixth Sense”. With “Unbreakable”, he hasn’t ventured too far from this territory, yet he takes many of the stylistic elements to bring us a tale of a kind of super hero. He offers viewers a story of a man David Dunn (Bruce Willis) whose unusual circumstances make him a guardian of the human race. 

The darkly intriguing story tells of Dunn, a Philadelphian security guard whose marriage is on the rocks and in consideration of a move to New York. After a job interview there, he returns by train to Philadelphia. Incredibly, he is the only survivor of a train crash. He doesn’t even have a scratch on him. While attending a memorial service for the victims, a card is left on his car windshield. It has a “Limited Edition” logo and reads, “How many days of your life have you been sick?” He tracks the logo to a comic book gallery run by Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson), himself a victim of a degenerative bone disease. He is the opposite to the seemingly “unbreakable” David Dunn. He has become a comic book aficionado and believes that Dunn has certain superpowers that preclude him from getting hurt. Elijah is obsessed by the concept of strength.

We learn that David was a former college football star who used a car crash as an excuse to turn his back on a lucrative sporting career in favour of marrying his sweetheart Audrey (Robin Wright Penn). Twenty years later he doesn’t know where it seems to have gone wrong. His son Joseph) Spencer Treat Clark) is thrilled with the notion of his father’s stature. Wanting to believe in his dad, he buys into Elijah’s ideas so completely that he becomes a danger. David starts to question things about his life and feels compelled to explore his apparent invincibility. 

Shyamalan again sustains a disquieting ambience, hinting at something surprising and supernatural. The screenplay suggests that he is very familiar with themes of comic books. “Unbreakable” pays homage to the super hero books of his youth, as it is an innovative piece of work, a unique representation if ever told. The emphasis, being on storytelling and character development, may appeal to Bruce Willis for several follow-up “episodes”. More can be explored. Comparisons with “The Sixth Sense” will be unavoidable. This film holds up very well notwithstanding, and has its own place as one of the more interesting films you’d want to see.

Screening on general release including the George Cinemas, the Dendy Brighton and the Rivoli Cinemas