Another warning, if you didn't like The Sixth Sense, you will most likely find this movie banal and uninspired.

I guess this is clearly for people who have seen this movie, did anyone else find the ending to be a complete dispensing of the two hours that preceded it? What was interesting about The Sixth Sense was the ending forced a reexamination of the pointers that one so easily missed on first viewing. The Sixth Sense's ending was clearly a suprise in the fact that the movie was leading directly to it but one just never saw it. I guess you could say the same thing about Fight Club.

The problem with Unbreakable is that the 'suprise' ending is just not right. It basically makes it clear that the existence of the major sub-plot, that of Bruce Willis and Robin Wright Penn, unimportant. It is absolutely incredulous to pull such nonsense on a trusting audience in this situation. It made no sense as a resolution and likewise absolutely made the whole experience a wash out.


In response to bitter_engineer, I was not annoyed by the comic book nature of the film. I was actually genuinely interested by the buildup of the the plot. Especially, the scene with the gun. However, I found the resolution of the storyline empty and ultimately uninteresting. It seems contrived when resolution of such an interesting concept is a 1 minute scene and text.

I have to disagree with dpride, whose review is the second I have seen that claims the surprise ending was just tacked on to the end at the belittlement of the rest of the movie.

Much like in The Sixth Sense, after watching the end, I realized that there were several hints scattered throughout the movie that would have suggested this particular ending, had I been looking out for them. Much like The Sixth Sense, I intend to watch this movie again, to see if I can catch other references to what happens at the end. I don't see how the ending makes David Dunn's family relations unimportant at all.

This movie is based very much on ideas created by comic books, to the point that people who do not appreciate comics, or the general 'superhero' concept will be in danger of boredom by the movie, and annoyed by some of its loose ends.

3.5 stars. 4.5 if you like comics.

Trivia: M. Night Shyamalan makes a cameo as the drug dealer at the stadium.

spoiler warning: do not read this if you haven't seen the film!!!!!

Some of the "clues" in the movie(some from memory, some from what others have said): remember, as Jackson says at the end, comic book heros/villians are opposite of each other. so:

  • Willis is unbreakable, Jackson is "Mr. Glass"
  • Willis is white, Jackson is black
  • Willis has no hair, Jackson has a fro(seems silly, but...)
  • also, if you notice that they are opposites: Willis protects people, so what would you expect Jackson to do?

also, clues that Willis/Jackson both are comic book characters:

  • Willis is seen numerous times wearing a rainjacket that looks much like a cape/costume(even going over his head)
  • Jackson wears purple a lot(possibly every scene) - like a costume
  • also, obviously there's the conversation between Willis and Jackson's mother near the end where she says that some villians fight you directly, and some fight you in your mind

I plan on watching this movie again, because I think there definitely are clues, even though they may be subtle

My life is a mandala, the fringe of which represents the limits of my ability to accept the 'unacceptable' occurrences in my day to day existence. The fringe is where all the interesting stuff happens.

The school basement was a place of mystery outside of the ordinary regimentation of classes, and teachers, and perfectly sharpened pencils. The kindly janitor hangs out down there. In this time when children doing chores for public servants is not considered exploitative, he is sometimes asked to take his teacher's erasers to the basement and knock the chalk dust off on two metal grates set up for just that purpose. The basement is where the janitor keeps several boxes of shavings from the pencil sharpeners for cleaning up after sick children. There is an old wooden chair in one room whose back contains several regularly shaped holes. The janitor has explained that those are bullet holes, but with the innocence of childhood, a bullet-ridden chair sitting in the basement of an elementary school does not strike him as sinister. The basement is also where the boy's restroom is located. At least a couple of times every day the boys are marched down the steps into the basement to use the restroom. When they come back upstairs, they queuequeue up to get a drink from the water fountain before returning to class.

The boy loves school. He loves the order of it. The mysteries that it contains-like, why cold water always comes out of the water fountain-inspire him to get up every morning and practically run to school. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm for school is not uniformly appreciated.

One day as the boys make their way down the steep steps to the lavatory, the hand of one of his peers pushes him in the back and he plunges headfirst into the stone landing. Caught completely by surprise, his chin hits the landing causing him to bite his tongue with the full force of his fall. It is not the first, nor will it be the last, serious accident he will have. Nor is it his first encounter with human cruelty and capriciousness.

But there is something about the casual incompetence of the school personnel that unnerves him, even through his pain and panic. He is not important enough to spare an adult to take him to his grandparents' home. He is not important enough, apparently, for either of his parents to leave work to care for him. Another child is enlisted to walk him the quarter mile to his grandparents where he sits holding a washcloth to his bloody mouth until his mother gets off from work.

This moment is burned in the child's memory. Where there was order, there is interpersonal chaos. The gestalt of that instance of childhood cruelty becomes a metaphor for how he moves through life-taking care to always walk behind his peers or constantly looking over his shoulder, scoping out every room that he enters. He begins to watch the processes of his own mind with the same suspicion and care. Curiosity, surprise, and delight become untrustworthy companions. That unexpected push from behind becomes a metaphor for every loss he encounters. Every journey eventually dead ends into that indelible memory. Every attempt to escape from the paralysis of the reality of his powerlessness to completely guarantee his own safety and satisfaction fails, ultimately. Every instance of caring or love resembles the focused indifference of his early caretakers. He walks through life like a man trying to squeeze through to the front of a crowd without touching another human being.

******

STUDENT: From what you were saying about hopelessness, I guess it could help one relate to one?s environment better, but there is something else. Maybe I'm thinking of another kind of hopelessness, but it seems that hopelessness takes away the inspiration to practice at all. And the same thing in relation to the teacher. If you see him as not being able to save you either, it takes away your inspiration for relating to the teacher.

TRUNGPA RINPOCHE: What's the problem?

S: That seems to me to contradict what you were saying about hopelessness being a way to make a true relationship with the teaching.

TR: Hopelessness is getting into the teaching more because you have no choice. When we think about hopelessness, that involves choices of all kinds. But when you realize that there's no hope at all you end up with just yourself. Then you can generate teachings or expressions of teachings within yourself.

S: What influences you to slow down if you find yourself speeding?

TR: Hopelessness, obviously. The more you speed, the more frustrated you get. So there's no point in speeding. It's hopeless.

S: Could you distinguish between hopelessness and despair?

TR: Despair is still hopeful, and hopelessness is utterly hopeless. There is no ground to hang on to. You are completely wiped out, therefore you might hang on to your basic being. Despair is a resentful attitude. You are in despair because you have a sense of retaliation against something or other. Hopelessness is very genuine, beautiful, simple act. You're hopeless-it's a fantastic thing. You really are hopeless then, you know. There's no trips about it. It's clean-cut.

S: Rinpoche, does this mean that a person has to experience a lot of suffering before he becomes really hopeless? Or could it just happen on the spot?

TR: Both.

S: Rinpoche, it would make no sense to try to give up hope. If you did that, you would be hoping not to hope. How do you give up hope?

TR: You don't. You're stuck with hope. And then you're disgusted with it.

S: It seems you're saying that the only hope is hopelessness.

TR: That's true.

S: But that's a contradiction.

TR: No, the only hope is hopelessness. 'Only hope' means that the ground, our sense of security, is the only hope, which is hopeless-you have no ground. You don't make yourself into a target for the pain in any way at all, which is hopeless. The only hopelessness is not to provide yourself as a target.

Student/teacher excerpt from The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra by Chogyam Trungpa.

I just got the Special Edition DVD of Unbreakable. Let me tell you, it is well worth the money. The first disc contains the movie, (just like you saw it in the theater). But there is still a second disc. The second disc contains more than just your average deleted scenes. You also get all kinds of other material. Such as a multi-angle version of the Train Station sequence, a feature on comic books, some bits and pieces of the directors first work, and more.

Some deleted scenes of consequence include one where Bruce Willis talks to a Catholic Priest about the accident. Another deleted scene shows Elijah at 7 years old, he gets on a carnival ride, (the kind that spins around really fast), of course you know how that is going to end up. (I had trouble watching that scene because I knew what is going to happen, but I couldn't stand to see it). In another cut scene Bruce Willis sneaks into the weight room at the University that he works at. He procedes to put 540 lbs on the bar, (then he lifts it 3 times). When he looks up, everyone in the room is staring at him in awe. The final scene worth mentioning that was deleted was a scene with Bruce Willis and his wife. They bump into a friend of hers, the friend mistakes Willis for some other man that his wife was interested in.

Since I now own both The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, I am toying around with the idea of editing them together, (they have such a similar feel). The main problem is Bruce Willis is not bald in both movies. But I have a feeling I could come up with something interesting.

So if you liked Unbreakable, you are going to want the DVD also. My only problem with the DVD release is that there is no option to watch the movie with the cut scenes put back in. (That seems to be my problem with most DVDs though.

Elijah Price:
It's hard for many people to believe that there are extraordinary things inside themselves, as well as others.
I hope you can keep an open mind.

Introduction:

What the...? Nobody noded the plot yet? Time to change that. Unbreakable was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, with the two lead roles played by Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. I must say that I really enjoyed the movie, the actors lay down solid performances and the writing and directing is powerful as well.

Premise:

What if there is a true part to human fiction, if comic books were exaggerated reflections of the collective subconscious knowledge of mankind? What if there really were superheroes, men with special powers, to protect the innocent? What if they didn't know about it?

Plot:

Elijah's Mother: They say this one has a surprise ending.

David Dunn (Willis) is unhappily married man. Although he loves his wife and son, he wakes up every morning with an unexplainable sadness und feeling of unfulfilledness. But when he is the sole survivor of a terrible train wreck, his world changes. He get's a message from Elijah Price (Jackson), a man whose bones shatter like glass, who claims to have been looking for a man like Dunn for all his life, believing him to be "the opposide end of the same curve". So if he is unbreakable, Willis must be invincible, a man with special powers, put on this earth to protect others. Dunn, naturally, fails to believe him, and considers him to be just another crackpot. But some questions Price asked continue to dwell on his mind...

David Dunn: I'm gonna ask you a question, and it's going to sound a little weird, so just think about it. Do you remember me ever being sick?
Audrey Dunn: I, I don't, I can't remember...
David Dunn: No cold, no fever, no headache, isn't that a little weird? What do you think it means?

Surprised, he notices that he can't remember ever to have been sick, or one bone broken. He also begins to question some of the hunches he had on his job as a security guard, which Elijah claims are some of his powers. When training in his basement, he lifts more weight than ever before, more than should be humanly possible. And slowly, he begins to realize that there is some truth to Elijah's words and theory. And so he goes out to test the theory ... and when he wakes up the next morning, the sadness is gone, for now he knows what he had been lacking: a pupose in life...

There is more, but I want to avoid spoiling the movie for those who have not seen it yet. The ending is strong, compelling, shocking and absolutely right for this movie. It came from a totally unexpected direction for me, but all the clues were there.

Comment:

I cannot compare this film to The Sixth Sense, as I did not see that one yet, but I was simply blown away. The premise is beautifully executed, and not overdone. The usual gimmicks of superhero flicks, like super-weapons or flashy costumes are avoided entirely, instead, Dunn remains believable. Sure, he has this psi-power, but it only manifests within him self, not like Superman's heat vision. OK, he is very strong and invincible, which is, while phantastic, still believeable in the context of the movie. When he accepts his destiny, he doesn't don a colorful spandex costume and pick a freaky name, he dons a raincoat, because it is raining at the time. He acts like a normal man might well do, and so the the viewer can suspend his disbelief.

Unlike "normal" superhero-films, this movie is not action driven, bnut propelled by the characters. The movie takes a long time to get where it want's to go, but that is intentional, because this is a movie about the journey of discovery of Dunn's own self, not a super-hero movie in the usual sense. And thus, the ending fits the story perfectly: It is suprising, but not deus-ex-machina, as the clues were there all along. It does not resolve anything, but that is not important, as we know that Dunn's new life is just beginning, therefore the ending need not be a conclusion of the story, but something to transport the sense of this new beginning, all the while staying true to the original premise of the movie. I am looking forward the Shyamalan's next feature.

An no, I won't give away the ending in this wu, even though this deprives me of the use of one of my favorite quotes from the movie. It's a pity some of the wu's above were rather careless and gave it away, IMHO...

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