Mendel, M. Night Shyamalan, Sam Mercer
Willis, Robin Wright Penn, Samuel L.
Jackson, Spencer Treat Clark
out of 5
you unbreakable? This is the question
posed by M. Night Shyamalan in his intricately
woven tale of sole survival. With this
intriguing and visually engaging follow-up
to the highly acclaimed THE SIXTH SENSE,
the writer/director/producer/actor asserts
himself as a master craftsman.
seems to set Shyamalanís movies apart
from the passive run-of-the-mill movies
offered so far in 2000 is his willingness
to create more than just a story, or a
sequence of events. He has perfected the
art of "telling a tale." Like
THE SIXTH SENSE, UNBREAKABLE is a self-contained
piece. The depth of the characters and
the careful plot twists give it the feel
of a leather-bound treasure, a story passed
down from generation to generation; rather
than a film in general release at local
what is this movie about, I hear you cry?
Well, herein lies the greatest accomplishment
of the makers of this dark tale; its greatest
asset is its sense of mystery. From the
trailer it's hard to glean anything of
the plot, save that David Dunn (Willis)
is the only survivor of a horrific train
wreck. After coming to terms with this
realization, Dunn must grapple with his
emotions and discover what his survival
means about his place in the world. His
guide along this journey is Elijah Price,
adeptly played by Samuel L. Jackson, a
man whose constant ill health has led
him on a passage of similar emotional
torment. Shyamalan has worked hard to
keep the nuances of the theme under wraps,
making the ride even more enjoyable. I'm
sorry, but any more elaboration on the
plot would only serve to undermine the
unfolds in Philadelphia, in a dark and
brooding atmosphere which mirrors the
emotions of the characters who inhabit
its streets. Robin Wright Penn is wonderful
as Dunnís wife, a somewhat detached significant
other who's trying to reconcile marriage
and her fears of having nearly lost the
most important man in her life. Willis
puts forth a stunning performance as the
introspective Dunn, his powerful physical
appearance a jarring juxtaposition to
his weak emotional state. Promising young
actor Spencer Treat Clark rounds out the
cast, helping Dunn on his quest for self-discovery
as adoring son Jeremy.
Night Shyamalan provides another fantastic
movie both in its cinematic value and
its depth of story. Although at times
his references to a certain form of pop
culture may elicit an "oh brother"
response from the audience, the strength
of the story line and realism of the characters
allow this to wane. The mystery in the
build up to the movieís release is the
key ingredient of its power. Shyamalan
only gives the audience a candle to light
their way through this dark maze of intricate
plot twists and turns. When it seems the
end is finally in sight, he spins you
around, leaving you astonished by the
final destination and increasingly amazed
by the journey.
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...