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YMMV / Unbreakable

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  • Awesome Music: James Newton Howard's score.
  • Cult Classic: It got some decent reviews and made some money upon release, but few people knew what to make of it. It didn't help being sandwiched between Shyamalan's more newsworthy and successful The Sixth Sense and Signs, with many people simply comparing it to them in one way or the other. Because of that Unbreakable is considered Shyamalan's most underrated film, and one people held on to even as Shyamalan's reputation started to fall.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Anyone familiar with this movie might cringe a little after learning about the Amtrak train crash just outside of Philadelphia.
    • David uses almost drowning in a swimming pool as a child as a reason as to why he can't possibly be a superhero, saying "heroes don't get killed like that". 19 years later, in Glass, David is killed by being drowned in a rain puddle.
    • Similarly, the description Elijah gives of Century Comics #117, "That's where this group, the Coalition of Evil, tried to ascertain the weakness of every superhero", is the only thing remotely foreshadowing the Ancient Conspiracy out to destroy all superheroes who are responsible for David's demise in Glass.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Elijah loves comics and desperately wants to be like the men he has spent his life collecting images of. Twelve years later, Samuel L. Jackson is playing Nick Fury, a badass Superhero who is head of a team of badass superheroes. Made better by the scene in the comic book store in which The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor are both visible. Both would later be on his team. Even better, during the art sale near the end, a copy of "Nick Fury's SHIELD" is seen over his head.
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    • After this film was released, it was discovered that a whole family had a genetic mutation that caused all of their bones to be as tough as granite ... Even better, none of them knew until the father went to the hospital for being in a car wreck and was completely unharmed.
      • The man involved in the car wreck even mentioned to his doctor that he doesn't go in the water because he "sinks like a rock".
    • A 60 year-old woman was recently discovered to have an exceedingly rare genetic mutation that allowed to heal faster than normal, unable to feel pain or anxiety, and she apparently never once questioned it or thought it was abnormal.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Elijah Price, aka "Mr. Glass", was born with a genetic disease that causes his bones to be exceptionally brittle. Seeking to become a supervillain to lure out a heroic counterpart, Elijah orchestrates a series of massive disasters until one leaves a Sole Survivor in David Dunn. Revealing himself to David after David "accepts" his destiny as a superhero, Elijah reveals himself to be the mastermind behind hundreds of deaths while he himself managed to stay undetected. Nearly two decades later, Elijah convinces the Horde/Kevin Wendell Crumb to escape an asylum they are being held in and the duo trick their way out of it. With a complex plot to reveal "specials" to the world, Elijah uses a planned attack on a skyscraper as a distraction, then has David and the Horde fight, them all dying because of Elijah's plot but ensuring that the entire event is uploaded online.
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  • Misaimed Marketing: The film was poorly marketed as a psychological thriller rather than a superhero origin story.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Elijah falling down the stairs. Definitely one of the most disturbing depictions of breaking bones in movie history.
    • The Ax-Crazy janitor in the climax. He breaks into a stranger's home, claims it as his own, murders the stranger, imprisons - and implicitly tortures - his family, then almost drowns David when he comes to save them. And worst of all? We never learn why. Even though the janitor is nowhere near Elijah's level of Person of Mass Destruction, he actually manages to be even more disturbing; no Affably Evil or Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds status for him.
  • Paranoia Fuel: As David explores his Touch Telepathy, he finds himself surrounded by people who have done horrible things. He initially starts tracking a guy who randomly attacked a black couple on a street corner, but was drawn instead to the janitor who tied up an entire family and was living in their home. The idea that we are surrounded by such monsters in everyday circumstances is unsettling.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Somewhat averted. While the "Realistic Superman" trope has become very prevalent in pop culture, this film gets a lot of praise for kick-starting it and is commonly viewed as being a good film released at the wrong time.
  • Vindicated by Cable: Ever since the release of Split.
  • Vindicated by History: While a moderate critical and financial success upon release, it had nowhere near the same cultural impact of The Sixth Sense - at the time superhero/comic book movies were few and far between, so the subject matter was somewhat obscure to general audiences. But thanks to the modern-day proliferation of superhero movies, Unbreakable is seen as almost ahead of its time, preceding films like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Trilogy as a Deconstruction of what it would be like to have actual superheroes in the real world. Not only is it considered one of Shyamalan's best films but perhaps his most underrated and unseen...until...
  • The Woobie: Due to genetics being a crap-shoot, Elijah has spent roughly a third of his life in a hospital bed. In the end, he is revealed as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.


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