Unbroken – Movie Review


Unbroken – Movie Review by Frank L.

Directed by Angelina Jolie
Writers: Joel Coen (screenplay), Ethan Coen (screenplay), Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), William Nicholson (screenplay), Laura Hillenbrand (book)
Stars: Jack O’Connell, Takamasa Ishihara, Domhnall Gleeson

This film is based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand which recounts the story of Olympic athlete Louie Semperini. It has four script writers including the Coen Brothers. Louie was the child of Italian immigrants in Torrance, California and was as a kid bullied for being a wop. He fought back which meant he was often in trouble. However his rebelliousness is overcome by the guiding discipline of his elder brother who forces Louie to train and develop into a first rate athlete. With the outbreak of war he becomes a fighter pilot, he is shot down over the Pacific with two of his comrades, they survive in an inflatable raft for many days until eventually they are picked up by a Japanese warship… the enemy. He is then incarcerated in two Japanese prisoner of war camps where he and the Japanese guard in charge have an intense dislike of each other. It is a story of endurance, courage and survival. It is a classic war story which like many of the genre comes to be written by the victors.

Jolie lifts the story initially by a series of fine shots of fighter aircraft flying in formation being attacked by enemy aircraft. She creates a sense of disorientation within Semperini’s plane as the attacks come in from what seems all directions. There are also some impressive scenes of Semperini’s childhood in Torrance, California where his bullying, as an Italian immigrant, he gradually turns to his advantage through his own innate grittiness. However once the movie hits the raft and the struggle to survive the Pacific and then the prisoner of war camps there is little that distinguishes Unbroken from other movies that describe feats of survival against what appears insuperable odds. Jack O’Connell as Louie manages to live up to the superhuman status which the part requires. Somewhat less heroic “Phil” his fellow survivor from the raft, is played by Domhnall Gleeson on a more understandable level. He appears as a human.

As a war movie, “Unbroken” is very much within the sentiments expressed by Macauley “And how can man die better, than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his Gods”. For those in tune with those aspirations “Unbroken” will thoroughly engage, for those not so in tune “Unbroken” will be just another war movie of the heroic genre.

1 reply »

  1. Franchise slum Hollywood with its done–to–death, decades off point, WWII.

    Franchise slum Hollywood with its —‘mysterious overlook’—- of some 5 decades
    of milestone anniversaries for the RED CHINA, GLOBALISM and EXTERMINIST EUGENICS ‘unfriendly’
    ————————————————————KOREAN WAR———————————————————–.


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