Movie Review Unbroken
Unbroken is a film that has had some serious awards consideration and I think it’s mostly deserving of something. While it has much more in common with The Shawshank Redemption than Chariots of Fire, Jolie proves that she can be a filmmaker of real skill and authenticity.
It tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic athlete who goes off to fight in WWII. When his plane is shot down, Zamperini and two other soldiers fight to stay alive at sea for 47 days and are literally swimming with sharks.
Along the way, they are captured by the Japanese and become POWs under the brutal and cruel dictatorship of a commander called The Bird. He does everything in his power to break both Louis’ body and spirit.
Louis becomes the victim of too many attacks by The Bird in two different internment camps. However, the more The Bird pushes Louis, the greater his resolve becomes. His defiant act at a coal mining operation involving lifting a giant piece of wood over his head literally screams underdog.
This is a film that at once makes us root for Louis and uses shameless manipulation to its advantage. However, given its source material, Jolie is a competent filmmaker who knows how to do this story justice. Granted, some scenes of vicious brutality do push the PG-13 rating right up to the razor’s edge, but I think it’s justified in order to show the truth.
Unbroken may walk the line of mixed reviews, but as for me, I thought this was one of 2014’s most well-made, well-acted, and technically impressive films.
(Rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences of brutality, and for brief language.)
Until next time, White County, this is Justin Hall saying I’ll see you AT THE MOVIES!