We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
At the center of "Unbreakable" is a simple question: "How many days of your life have you been sick?" David Dunne, a security guard played by Bruce Willis, doesn't know the answer. He is barely speaking to his wife Megan (Robin Wright Penn), but like all men, he figures she remembers his life better than he does. She tells him she can't remember him ever being sick, not even a day. They have this conversation shortly after he has been in a train wreck that killed everybody else on board, but left him without a scratch. Now isn't that strange.
The question originally came to him in an unsigned note. He finds the man who sent it. This is Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who runs a high-end comic book store with a priceless stock of first editions. Elijah has been sick a lot of days in his life. He even had broken bones when he emerged from the womb. He has spent a long time looking for an unbreakable man, and his logic is plain: "If there is someone like me in the world, shouldn't there be someone at the other end of the spectrum?"
"Unbreakable," the new film by M. Night Shyamalan, is in its own way as quietly intriguing as his "The Sixth Sense." It doesn't involve special effects and stunts, much of it is puzzling and introspective, and most of the action takes place during conversations. If the earlier film seemed mysteriously low-key until an ending that came like an electric jolt, this one is more fascinating along the way, although the ending is not quite satisfactory. In both films, Shyamalan trusts the audience to pay attention, and makes use of Bruce Willis' everyman quality, so we get drawn into the character instead of being distracted by the surface.
The Jackson character is not an everyman. Far from it. He is quietly menacing, formidably intelligent, and uses a facade of sophistication and knowledge to conceal anger that runs deep: He is enraged that his bones break, that his body betrays him, that he was injured so often in grade school that the kids called him "Mr. Glass." Why does he want to find his opposite, an unbreakable man? The question lurks beneath every scene.