Unbroken – Beautiful and inspiring
Directed by: Angelina Jolie
There is a very familiar archetype featured in Angelina Jolie’s war time epic “Unbroken”. It is one of a single heroic man (Louis Zamperini portrayed perfectly by Jack O’Connell) surviving against insurmountable odds. In the face of mountainous trials and unspeakable violence, he perseveres. It is a theme that is tried but true, and Jolie (along with a dream team of writers) has successfully brought this version of it to life in a beautiful, moving way.
The story is an incredible and true tale of Louis Zamperini. A man who went from olympic athlete, to soldier, to lost at sea, to prisoner of war and lived to tell the magnificent tale. O’Connell is amazing, and certainly an actor to keep on your radar in the upcoming years. He is so emotionally poised, you would think you were watching a three time Oscar nominee (which he probably will be sooner than later). The supporting cast all do a solid job as well. Gleeson, Hedlund, Jai Courtney, and Luke Treadaway all turn in solid performances. Takamasa Ishihara as the sadistic ruler of the brutal prison camp is as chilling a villain as you will see in a war film.
All of the parts fit, and although most of what is presented has been seen before it loses none of it’s intended impact. This is thanks to the beautiful cinematography and the excellent acting. Jolie also seems to be a capable director. The only small disappointment is that with all of those ingredients, and some of the best writers in the business behind the script, it doesn’t feel as epic as it tries to be. It is a good movie, but not a great one. With that said though, I would recommend seeing it for the spectacle and the great lead performances.