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The Most Realistic Superhero Anything Ever
This movie is the most realistic imagining of superheroes ever. I literally mean it when I say that.

V for Vendetta due to being an extremely close second in terms of realism, and Hancock do to being the same medium and milieu will be used as scales to compare realism.

The origin of the super powers:
  • Hancock: Never really explained.
  • V For Vendetta: A "criminal" subject to cruel human experimentation that ended up giving enhancements somehow.
  • Unbreakable: By analogy from Elijah's genetic mutation that makes him weak, David has a genetic mutation that makes him strong and very resilient.

The super powers themselves:

The establishment of the conflict of the story:
  • Hancock: He can't fight crime well yet has super powers.
  • V For Vendetta: Following a nuclear war, the UK is being run by an oppressive far-right government that can only be countered by a certain anarchist with a plan.
  • Unbreakable: Elijah is trying to find a super-powered hero as an analogy to his crippling disability, and thus because a super-powered person is also the hero, the disabled person must be the villain by analogy. Using that, Elijah arranges accidents to find this super person, eventually finding David.

As you can see, Unbreakable is a much more realistic story than even V for Vendetta because of the way the super powers are introduced and the establishment of the conflict of the story. V for Vendetta tips the Sliding Scale Of Realistic Versus Fantastic by establishment of a completely different milieu than the current societal situation going on now, and Hancock tips Mohs Scale Of Sci Fi Hardness with his explicitly physics-breaking powers. Thus, Unbreakable is the most realistic primarily because of how it sets everything up and presents it, yet still remains in the Super Hero genre by virtue of having a super-powered person who fights crime.
This is an interesting angle on the superhero genre. Hancock's powers are somewhat explained, however. He tells the story of having an accident in which he wakes up as an immortal...if I'm remembering this correctly. I'm not sure if perhaps he has amnesia and can't remember his origins until Mary tells him the story in the hospital. And although V is a kind of superhero, he's really not. He's a terrorist, first and foremost.

A more revealing comparison perhaps would be between Batman (upperclass superhero) and David (working class superhero). David's powers are pretty comparable to Batman's, even though Batman doesn't have a "magic" gene. Still, they are both Guardians of the people and do things ordinary people can't do.

By the way, I agree with you about Unbreakable, which is my favorite Shymaylan (sp?) film, even moreso than Sixth Sense. It doesn't get a lot of credit, but I adore it.
comment #19168 blueburner 27th Apr 13
Great review. Forget The Sixth Sense, this should have been Shyamalan's name-making film. It didn't bore me the way Sixth Sense did, especially since it was much harder to figure out what the twist ending was in this one.
comment #19171 DarkLiterati 28th Apr 13
Not sure how Unbreakable is more "realistic" than V for Vendetta but it's certainly more low-key despite a character having explicit super powers. Your review needs some work by the way. You're not really giving a whole lot of detail and most of what you're comparing and contrasting is mostly just surface details that don't really explain much about the film. And the metric by which you're comparing the three films is very, VERY flawed.
comment #26663 ChronosFox 17th Oct 14
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