Identity Crisis
Review by Ross Anthony

Hmmm. Well, I absolutely loved "The Sixth Sense." In fact, I did back flips over that film. But M. Night Shyamalan's newest effort, "Unbreakable" failed to ignite that same enthusiasm.

This is still an interesting film complete with scenes to marvel over sharing screen time with the not-so-great moments. Generally speaking, too much time is spent in the set up and not enough on the punch.

I've said before of "The Sixth Sense" that I didn't need the ending kicker twist - I still would have loved that film. Not so of "Unbreakable" which titillates unevenly like glitter in a murky stream. The opening shot between seats is clever, but becomes tiresome. In fact, the whole first act could have used a shot in the arm. Willis, Penn and Woodward are strong, believable and likable. But, I've seen Jackson give better performances (though the actor playing the younger Jackson does a fine job).

I particularly enjoyed the meaty sequence just prior to the end; more of the like was needed as lead-ins to it. Perhaps they were written, but cut for time. Too bad, cuts in the first act would have made for a better film.

Overall, the finished product is lumpy - a way-cool idea that is no doubt way-difficult to translate to film. Shyamalan makes a respectable attempt in "Unbreakable," but lands shy of the excellence he'd achieved in his earlier work.

  • Unbreakable. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn, Charlayne Woodward, Spencer Treat Clark.
  • Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
  • Produced at Touchstone.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:43:47 PDT