ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Unbreakable (2000)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring:
Bruce Willis/David
Samuel L. Jackson/Elijah
Robin Wright Penn/ Audrey
Spencer Treat Clarke/Joseph
PLOT-CRUNCH
David (Willis) is the sole survivor of a train wreck. The disaster unleashes a chain of events that leads him to discover his life’s true purpose.
THE LOWDOWN
This is not supposed to be 6th Sense Part 2. Yes, it has Bruce Willis, the same pace, washed out colors and a twist ending but the overall goal of the film and its effects are different. It’s hard to talk about this film without giving anything away… I’ll do my best.

Unbreakable is haunting and poetic. A man’s self-discovery with a supernatural twist. The film takes the basic rules of comic books (loved the raincoat) and applies them on a "reality" based canvas. This makes for a very original storyline. The film had me hooked from the get-go. It actually put me in the shoes of the Willis character: I was curious when he was, I was amazed when he was and I was angry when he was.

I think the way you’ll perceive this film has a lot to do with who you are on a personal level and how you feel the day you will see it. I for one am at a crossroads, asking myself many questions and this film was a perfect piece to fit my mood.

Even though it’s bathed in an aura of sadness, I still couldn’t help but view the film as positive. Seeing Willis’s character put the pieces together, not only of the mystery but also of his life...touched me. The scene where he actually does something with his gift almost made me cry (I know, I’m a big beeyatch). I was rooting for him and in his shoes I would have done the same thing.

The film makes a strong statement in respect to the balance between "good" and "evil" and the place we stand in all of it as human beings. Let's just say that evil has an easier time on earth than good does. Sad but true.

The film does have its faults: The scene with the kid and the gun although symbolic, felt a tad overblown. I thought it was a bit too extreme even though its purpose is clear: express the kid’s state of mind, his desperation. I also hated the captions at the end explaining what happened to the characters. Mystery would have been more effective.

I might be reading too much into this film and that’s my point. What you’ll get out of it depends on you. On an entertainment level alone the film is slow (never bothered me) and probably doesn’t have enough "physical" action to please the masses (no ghosts a la 6th Sense here). But for me it worked and had me yapping for hours afterwards. Are you Unbreakable? I know I’m not…
GORE
No gore but disturbing images that will make you feel…everything.
ACTING
Bruce Willis (David) earns his stripes in my book. No, he doesn’t play the same part he played in 6Th Sense. Here he’s deeper and there’s more about him than meets the eyes. For an actor who was known for his brashness and one-liners, Willis has now mastered the craft of underplaying. He does it very well. Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah) proves once again that he’s one of the more interesting actors on the US market. I appreciated the time his character was given, he could have easily been under developed. I even dug his pimp like get up and relished every scene he had with Willis. Robin Wright Penn (Audrey) plays depressed very well. Spencer Treat Clarke (Joseph) also does well and plays off Willis like a champ (What’s with Willis and kids…they must love him). We got a solid cast on our hands.
T & A
None was needed, none was given.
DIRECTING
Shyamalan knows how to express emotion through images. I got butterflies in my stomach a few times. He also knows how to set up a depressing look (hardly any colors), deliver with teasing flashes, ambitious shots and his camera work is amazing. The opening scene on the train made me feel like a "Peeping Tom" and when a certain character falls down a flight of stairs, I felt every bump on the way down. Art in motion.
SOUNDTRACK
Somber score that fits the movie like a glove.
BOTTOM LINE
An existential film and a consuming mystery wrapped up in the supernatural. This is NOT 6th Sense and if you go in there expecting an ending similar to it, get ready for a letdown. Where in The 6th Sense, the ending changed the whole movie, here it’s simply ironic. It ads a layer of depth to the film’s main theme, but the film remains the same. I got a lot out of this movie but sadly I don’t think everyone will. If you can forget 6th Sense for a second, open your mind and your heart…you might get something out of it too.
BULL'S EYE
Talk is in the air that this film might be the beginning of a trilogy. I’m there.

M. Night Shyamalan has a cameo. He plays a possible drug dealer.
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