Unbreakable

Rated NR

Director M. Night Shyamalan takes the basic elements of his Sixth Sense and gives them a little more life. Again, Bruce Willis stars as a man experiencing distance from his wife. Again, his life is changed by a near-death experience. Again, he learns to reconnect by forming a bond with a young boy. Again, there's a surprise ending. This time, however, instead of the supernatural the focus is on superpowers. Samuel L. Jackson plays a comic-book fan who is convinced that Willis has superhuman abilities, and must use them to fight crime. Willis, not having read the complete run of Green Lantern comics, is a bit skeptical, but events start to convince him that Jackson may be right. What works here is the relationship between Willis's character and his son, who really wants to believe in the superpower thing. Shyamalan hasn't yet outgrown his reliance on pointlessly arty camera techniques, and the film occasionally moves from the genuinely affecting to the mildly sappy, but on the whole it works better, and is deeper and less simple, than Sixth Sense. Of course, ghosts are acceptable adult entertainment, and superheroes are not, so I imagine that Unbreakable won't garner quite the kudos and cash of its predecessor, but, even though it's not perfect, it does represent an improvement in Shyamalan's work, and has me looking forward to its two proposed sequels.

Film Credits

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodard

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