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Unbreakable (2000)

Not all superheroes wear tights

Directed by:

M. Night Shyamalan

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

What if superheroes walk amongst us, but we don't know about it? Better still, what if even THEY don't know about it? That's the mind-blowing premise behind this dark thriller looking at comic book culture and the possibility of real-life struggles between the sides of good and evil.

Comic-art buff Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) suffers from a rare form of brittle bone disease and has dedicated his life to finding someone at the other end of the spectrum – someone who cannot be harmed. Football stadium security guard David Dunn looks as good a candidate as any, having hit the headlines for emerging as the only survivor – and completely unscathed, at that – of an horrific train crash. Dunn has other matters on his mind, not least the crumbling state of his family life, but before long finds it impossible to ignore Price's theory.

Willis, as in “The Sixth Sense” (also directed by Shyamalan) is quiet, dark and understated in his performance, while L. Jackson is his usual reliable self. Meanwhile, Robin Wright-Penn is never less than believable in her role as the wife and mother whose relationship with Dunn lies in tatters. Spencer Treat Clark plays the kid torn between the pair of them, living in hope that what Price says about his dad is true.

What sets the film apart from the generic superhero flick is that it takes place in a real world where we recognise Superman and co as consigned to fiction – yet at the same time Dunn's gradual realisation that he possesses amazing strength and special powers never appears fantastical. And movie-goers who like nothing better than trying to guess the inevitable twist will be in their element – it's got a good one.

It's Got: Powerful imagery and fantastic direction.

It Needs: Credit for doing something different with the well-trodden path of comic book superheroes in Hollywood.

DVD Extras Additional scenes, behind the scenes, comic book superhero featurette introduced by Samuel L. Jackson, multi-angle feature on the train station sequence, and an excerpt from an early film by M. Night Shyamalan DVD Extras Rating: 9/10

Alternatives:

Signs, The Sixth Sense, X-Men

Summary

A dark and enthralling delve into the possibility of “real life” superheroes and arch-villains.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 18, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    nice post!!!!!! haha !!!!!! yes

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