Unbreakable (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
is Shyamalan's follow-up to his outstanding success with The Sixth
In a sense, it is a pure superhero comic yarn. Unbreakable Man vs Mr Glass. Opposites in conflict. Dr Lawless and James West, revisited.
The very breakable Mr Glass, who seems to have a clearly defined but insane program for his life, and Unbreakable Man, who is a poor schmuck wandering aimlessly and sadly through life. Very sadly. Imagine if X-Men had been directed by Ingmar Bergman.
|That sense of sadness, layered with a supernatural sense of mystery, is what makes Unbreakable different from the usual super-hero tale. We know that Bruce Willis is somehow different from the rest of us. We feel that he has always known it as well, yet he doesn't understand exactly how he is different or, more important still, why. He just knows that he's a man who wakes up sad every day. He takes no pleasure from anything, keeps everyone at an emotional distance.||
|To us, as
we watch, the great mystery to savor is not who Willis is. We seem to
understand his powers better than he does. The mystery for us is just
why Mr Glass, his opposite, really cares. Oh, Glassboy (Samuel L
Jackson) offers some explanations, but we and Willis can see that they
are bullshit. How does this guy really fit in?
Willis plays a man who can't be injured, although he is just starting to realize the magnitude of his gift. He is in a train wreck in which the other 100+ people were killed, their bodies mangled, their bones crushed. But Willis looks like he just woke up from a nap. He doesn't have a broken bone, a chipped tooth, or even a scratch, despite the fact that his clothes and watch are destroyed.
|After his miraculous
survival makes all the wire service reports, he finds a mysterious
note on his car which asks if he has ever been sick or hurt a day in
his life. Up until this point, the question has never really entered
his head. He has been too self-pitying to think about this
blessing that he may possess. He eventually finds out that he is
extraordinary, but he still doesn't know the meaning of it all, or
what to do about it. Sam Jackson plays a comic book connoisseur who
discovers Willis, and tries to make him aware of his gifts. Jackson seems
to believe that comic books are real. Is he crazy, or just more in
touch than the rest of us with the fact that our myths are constructed
I can't say more. There is a surprise ending, although not at all an illogical one.
I was disappointed with the way they left the movie hanging. In essence, it was identical to X-Men. We know that Magneto is in prison, but he'll figure out a way to battle Professor X again. Same here. The ending changed the film from "Unbreakable Man" to "Unbreakable Man 1", a subtle but very real change that I wasn't very happy with.
On the other hand, if they make Unbreakable Man 2, I'll go to see it. I may have been pissed off that they made it a superhero origin movie and set it up for sequels, but I liked it enough to go to the sequels. Well, at least to the first one.
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