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Unbreakable

reviewed by Lynn Barker

Good will conquer Evil, yin is balanced by yang, every superhero must do battle with a larger-than-life enemy; sound like what great comic books are made of ? ÉExactly. UNBREAKABLE, M. Night Shyamalan's first effort after the ultra-successful SIXTH SENSE, is a supernatural thriller with yet another of the talented Mr. Shyamalan's twist endings. (Don't worry, we're not revealing it here).

DAVID DUNN (Bruce Willis) is a security guard at a sports arena. Years ago, he was a college football hero but he gave all that up to please his wife AUDREY (Robin Wright-Penn). Now, David's marriage is on the rocks and his relationship with his son JOSEPH (Spencer Clark) is strained. You see, David is a hollow man, a mere shell going through the motions until he becomes the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. At this point, David is contacted by ELIJAH PRICE, (Samuel L. Jackson) a connoisseur of comic book art and myth. In Elijah's theory, David is a superhero; an "unbreakable" savior who just hasn't found his true calling. Elijah has suffered from a rare bone disease since birth. He is extremely "breakable" and he's spent his life looking for his exact opposite.

As much as David tries to laugh off Elijah's bizarre theory, he starts realizing that he's never been sick or injured a day in his life. He also has a few mental abilities that he's been in denial about. David's gradual acceptance of Elijah's seemingly wacko theory results in a shot of self-esteem that reknits the broken bones of his family and starts David down a new life path. All would seem well but, as he did in SIXTH SENSE, Mr. Shyamalan has a final surprise in store for us.

UNBREAKABLE isn't THE SIXTH SENSE. There is no unbelievably charismatic little kid that we all want to save. There are few really scary moments but there are plenty of moments of suspense, wry humor and mystery. Shyamalan is exploring good and evil here and balancing the Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in all of us.

This movie makes you think. The characters are all flawed and, oddly, both larger-than-life and strangely human. Although the direction is a little slow at times, you find yourself compelled to find out what happens to these people. In one instance, the writer/director brilliantly conveys feelings between the father and son without a word being spoken. Through it all, however, you know that there's got to be that trademark twist in there somewhere and you won't be disappointed. I will say that if you are a fan of comic books (aka graphic novels) then UNBREAKABLE will appeal to you on a whole advanced level. If not, then go along for the ride anyway. It'll tickle the brain matter and bring out the "hero" in you. Go with your pals or a date.

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Bruce Willis As David Dunn, Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, Robin Wright Penn as Audrey Dunn, Spencer Clark as Joseph Dunn Rated PG-13
Film opens November 22nd
Official Website: http://studio.go.com/movies/unbreakable/intro.html