A Philadelphia setting, a marriage in crisis, Bruce Willis as a man who stands apart from others, a young boy, a sense of the supernatural, a surprise twist at the end. You would be quite right to regard this as a description of M Night Shyamalan’s well-received, thoughtful, thriller "The Sixth Sense". Yet all these elements are to be discerned in his new one.
Bruce Willis, his pate as hairless as William Hague’s, plays David Dunn, a security guard distanced from his wife (Robin Wright Penn) to the distress of their son (Spencer Treat Clark). Returning from a job interview in New York he emerges unscathed from a train wreck which kills everyone else aboard.
His escape catches the eye of Elijah Price, a wealthy dealer in comic-book art (Samuel L Jackson) who is a victim of a rare bone disease that causes his limbs to fracture at the slightest jolt. Elijah has an unsettling theory about David's miraculous escape from the train wreck, and a curious friendship develops.
With these films Shyamalan has shown himself to be an outstanding master of atmosphere and a riveting storyteller. "Unbreakable" holds the attention from its first moments, an opening sequence with Bruce Willis on the train, the restlessness of the camera implying a sense of foreboding. Throughout the film Willis’s performance is taciturn, his eyes are lifeless, and he seems to speak his lines at dictation speed. Somehow it seems wholly appropriate.
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