Bruce Willis miraculously survives a deadly train wreck in the latest moody mind-bender from the writer-director of "The Sixth Sense."
A commuter train crash kills everyone onboard except Philadelphia security guard David Dunne (Willis), who is found mysteriously unscathed. Then an eccentric comic book art expert suffering from a degenerative bone condition (Samuel L. Jackson) enters David's life with an extraordinary theory about what allowed him to walk away from the wreck. Trust us, that's all you want to know about the twist-filled plot.
Willis builds on his acclaimed work in "The Sixth Sense" with another low-key turn that takes this unique film exactly where it needs to go. It's difficult to discuss why without giving too much away, but suffice to say he's one of the few stars who could have convincingly managed the whiplash-inducing genre jump "Unbreakable" takes at a certain point. He gets sterling support from the invaluable Jackson, as well as Robin Wright Penn and Spencer Treat Clark as David's wife and young son.
Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, whose classy ghost story "The Sixth Sense" made his career and revived Willis', manipulates audiences into another sneaky "Twilight Zone" jolt with this highly original effort. Like "Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable" operates mostly as a serious drama before hitting viewers with the fact that they're actually watching a very different kind of movie than they were led to believe. Shyamalan's emphasis on long takes and trick shots (cameras bobbing around foreground obstructions, characters reflected off a switched-off TV) can be a bit much at times, but the artsy stylism makes it even more of a surprise where the story eventually lands. Only the weak final plot twist is a little too cute for the film's good.
"Unbreakable's" secret agenda won't work for all viewers, but for those inclined to go for it - wow!