Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mini-Review - "Unbreakable" (2000)


M. Night Shaymalan is one of the strangest oddities in current filmmaking. When he started out with "The Sixth Sense," everyone was blown away by his creativity and simplicity, as he had given us a thriller that has not aged at all and continues to impress audiences to this day. After that, it is clear that Shaymalan thought highly of himself and thought anything he created was a work of genius. This has led to many disastrous movies, such as "The Happening," "The Lady In The Water," "The Village," "After Earth" and "The Last Airbender," with each next film going further down the rabbit hole.

But before Shaymalan descended into full madness, he did manage to give us one more good film. People debate over whether that film is "Signs" or "Unbreakable." After seeing Shaymalan's work that serves as an homage to super heroes, as well as a deconstruction of them, I can honestly say that "Unbreakable" is just as good as "The Sixth Sense."

Much like Shaymalan's other great work, there is a creepy yet undeniable atmosphere to the film. In the case of "Unbreakable," it plays with the idea that we're not in control of our destiny. That fate has decided whether you are good or evil, and there is nothing that you can do to stop that. No matter what you do with your life, no matter what you've accomplished, life has already chosen if you are a bad guy. This makes the film utterly terrifying, especially near the end when we get our classic Shaymalan twist.

For a movie, this is a rare and often neglected point of view - the negative effect of a pre-chosen fate. Most films about this path are about how we should trust the grand plan of the universe and believe in it. But "Unbreakable" insists that thousands of innocent lives are endangered because we must follow the "grand plan."

That being said, "Unbreakable" is often pretentious with the cinematography and exaggerated color scheme, as well as the long-drawn out pauses in dialogue that we've come to expect from M. Night Shaymalan. However, much more to love about "Unbreakable" than there is to hate, and that makes this one a creepy yet unforgettable ride.

Final Grade: B

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