Unbreakable (2000) – Are You Ready for the Truth?

Superhero, comic book and things related to them are not uncommon in Hollywood. It’s not something that isn’t achievable again when comparing it at the time. Because there were not too many comic books movies or related to superheroes. “Unbreakable” takes a concept about superheroes from the other side. It’s not a movie about good against bad. But, this movie is more of an exploitation of someone who has superpowers. This seems to be an underrated from all the movies that the director worked on. In fact, they don’t like it because it’s not like “The Sixth Sense” with its plot twist. Well, I prefer this movie rather than “The Sixth Sense” which I think is predictable compared to this.

“Unbreakable” focuses more on the process of achieving a conclusion. Creating it to give a twist like M. Night Shyamalan’s trademark. Personally, this movie doesn’t expect much expectation. The pace is slow but the way of its execution is perfect. This movie is not like your everyday superhero movies. It’s more to a person mentality, what it feels like to have a superpower. This movie provides more in puzzles and constantly keeps a mystery element without showing it to viewers. So, this is what makes this movie hard for critics to take. They are more comparing the twist at the end than the process.

“The Sixth Sense” has an impression which doesn’t cover the plot hole at first. So, I can predict it but the movie has a perfect execution style yet it’s never rushed. On the other hand, “Unbreakable” leads to the choice of the main character, whether he can accept the truth or not and I also didn’t really see the twist coming at the end.

This is a story about David Dunne, a security guard who cannot believe in himself. He was the only one who survived in a train accident that killed 100 more peoples. David Dunne is not a superhero yet not an ordinary person. There is a connection when comparing the two things. First of all, David has a weakness inside. Every morning he’d wake up, for some reason, there is a hole in his heart which it makes him unhappy. Second, he is a superhuman but without a cape.

At first, he didn’t accept anything which had saved him in the accident but he learned that his past had never been physically hurt. He finally understands how a choice can inspire many people from behind, encouraging someone to live without any restrictions. So, who exactly is David Dunne? Is he just an ordinary person? Is that his own destiny? Well, David Dunne is neither a superhero nor a human. He is more like in the midst of the situation. He isn’t a superhero who shows himself too much but he is also happy in normal life.

Elijah Price, on the other hand, is a comic book collector that has weaknesses: he is like a glass. He is more like an alter ego for David. Therefore, he was called Mr. Glass because of his fragility makes his bones so broken. Because of his weakness, he spent more time reading comics. After he saw David Dunne as a person who really had superhero powers, he immediately wanted to interview him like someone who had inspired him. This Elijah’s character reminds me of a documentary television show called “Stan Lee’s Superhumans”. It’s about searching a superhuman real-life throughout the world.

Elijah is so different from David. He likes using his intelligence as handling the circumstances around him. He uses a lot of knowledge from what he got in the comics he reads. Elijah is more directed to someone who loves his job so much that he wants to explore more. His first meeting with David was strange. But the more they learned from understanding each other, there was a bond unconsciously became a friend.

Audrey Dunn as David Dunn’s wife is a different story but has a connection to David. Her character is so real which humans really need a second chance. Even though this movie doesn’t explain too much about their past between David and Audrey, I understand it clearly. In fact, she was so grateful for how her husband survived miraculously. Because of the accident that struck her but on the other hand, she became afraid of her feelings. She was very afraid of what would happen to her husband. So, she said that she wanted to do it again from the beginning. Rebuilding a relationship since their life died inside so that there was no regret anymore.

Joseph as David’s son is inspirational to his father. His respect for him couldn’t be said that he really loved his father as a superhero without a cape. Although there isn’t much I can discover, he is a figure who almost destroyed himself. His love for his father was almost in the wrong decision.

When talking about the ending in this movie, I love how M. Night Shyamalan built it up slowly but it’s not that memorable. Besides, I also never expected it to be different from “The Sixth Sense”. Just like a quote said by Elijah: “Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you’re here.”

Seems like a few references to “The Sixth Sense.” Actually, “Unbreakable” is more about a person’s decision. It’s not an everyday superhero movie which has one purpose: to save the world and peoples from any threats. It doesn’t have a superhero nor villain because we don’t know what to worry and to believe. When a villain turns into a superhero as well as a superhero turns into a villain, the most relevant idea to consider this movie is; who are they? What is their fundamental intent? A collector? A security guard? Alike the last line uttered by Samuel L. Jackson: “In a comic, you know how you can tell the arch-villain’s going to be? The exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends, like you and me!”

The actors in this movie give an excellent low-key performance. Although not too serious in terms of drama, Samuel L. Jackson is, as usual, an insane character. A person with fragile intelligence about things around him. Bruce Willis, who is also previously cast in “The Sixth Sense”, gave his best performance that didn’t attract some unique things. But, he is just encouraged so much mysteries in this movie. Not many action scenes recognize that this is a superhero movie. The built-up with James Newton Howard’s score is so intense. Each scene is really slow but isn’t too long. It’s well-executed like “The Sixth Sense” and I didn’t expect a twist at the end. “Unbreakable” is one of the underrated Shyamalan’s movies that people seem to forget.

“Unbreakable” is not too memorable, but this movie is definitely one I like best from all M. Night Shyamalan’s works. Sure, he’s not the best director ever. Getting his movies such as “The Last Airbender,” “After Earth,” and “The Happening” sucks in a way. With a not-too-exaggerating performance from the actors, the unexpected twist from the beginning, the characters, and all the aspects. It’s not your everyday superhero typical movies. It’s one that people forget because they look at his approved movie and his bad movies as I mentioned shortly. It explains more the decision of a superhero in admitting himself. How he can fight his fear, how he can accept his mistakes; and a little dark humor in it.

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Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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