There's a higher level of storytelling working through this gifted ensemble as I walk in the footsteps of these fantastic celluloid characters; I understand the importance of their choices, good or bad.
I love murky films with sad superheroes lost in psychological clouds. Let the movie play on forever. Unbreakable, from writer/director M. Night Shyamalan, brilliantly weds all its elements together and has everything I personally love about watching motion pictures. For two hours, everything makes sense; everything's real, believable. I can taste the rusty water dripping from the drainpipes; smell the air pushing through the curtains; feel the breaking of the glass, every single splinter falling across the concrete: This is cinema of the senses. This is filmmaking extraordinaire.
In the reluctant hero's eyes (Bruce Willis), I could see the pain of composed uncertainty; an aching, throbbing fear that pushes his character into dim shadows of lost time. I want to hold my breath, keep still, just let the movie unwind—slowly, effortlessly. This is skill that comes from deep inside the artist; the director knows his canvas and begins as the actors climb inside their roles. They all know and trust the father. Within that faith, a box-office star turns actor, a beauty queen becomes sincere and ordinary, and a little boy cries real tears. There's a higher level of storytelling working through this gifted ensemble as I walk in the footsteps of these fantastic celluloid characters; I understand the importance of their choices, good or bad.
Unbreakable brings into light the traditional comic book code of plot and character, but presents it with earnest plausibility. Good and evil are explained through the lives of two children; exceptional kids who are selected according to their physical gifts or unmerited limitations. Both villain and hero walk a path littered with the unfulfilled expectations that is America's cross to bear; only here could they exist together. This IS their Gotham City.
In the end, all things come together, everything explained. Unbreakable draws its curtains and I'm left with only those unanswered questions an over-active imagination claims: I'm a kid leaving the Saturday matinee believing in the supernatural. I want to be in the circle that includes the folks I've just sat with for two hours. I want to be chosen to fight the battles of the people, save the children from all strangers, stand atop the highest building, cape blowing in the wind and know I am unbreakable.