In theatres in time for the holidays from director Angelina Jolie and Legendary Pictures comes the true story of UNBROKEN.
This film tells the story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), a young man who joins the military during World War II. During an airplane run, he crashes into the ocean. Floating for over 47 days he must survive with his companions with long runs of no food or water.
When thinking they are rescued it becomes clear quickly that the ocean retrieval is at the hands of the Japanese Navy. Quickly Louis is sent to a prison camp where conditions made survival a matter of will.
Eventually Louis would be taken to another prison camp run by the cruel Watanabe ‘The Bird’ (Takamasa Ishihara). Pointing out the fact that Louis was an Olympic athlete, he is now Watanabe’s first choice to prove is points and is also used for propaganda.
It’s a story of survival.
FINAL WORD: O’Connell as Zamperini does a fine job with what he is given. Of course the earlier life story of a young man looking to be good at something is expected as background. Once joining the military O’Connell jumps in but I’m not sure the emotion was there. Perhaps that could be the reason I don’t totally connect with the character.
Ishihara as Watanabe was just too much for me and not in a good way. I don’t know what that character was all about. Coming in as a crazed camp commander there was just this sudden craze of evil who seem to enjoy being so at random. The scene at the end with Zamperini in his quarters did have me shedding a tear at all. Just a creeped out character and an odd choice in casting.
Other cast include: Domhnall Gleeson as Phil, Garrett Hedlund as Fitzgerald, Finn Wittrock as Mac, Jai Courtney as Cup, Maddalena Ischiale as Louise, Vincenzo Amato as Anthony, John Magaro as Tinker, Luke Treadaway as Miller, Louis McIntosh as Harris, and Ross Anderson as Blackie.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give UNBROKEN three tubs of popcorn out of five. I will say this once again that sometimes books just don’t need to be put on the big screen. That being said I can understand which direction Jolie was going but it never really gets there.
This is a story about a man surviving and I would never wish to take anything away from Mr. Zamperini. It is clear that what he went through was harrowing and something I would never have survived. Having read Hillenbrand’s book I must admit that I was more moved reading about Mr. Zamperini than watching it on the screen.
I just don’t need to sit in a movie theatre and watch a raft float for half an hour nor do I need to watch repetitive scenes in the prison camp. I wanted to feel more for the characters but was too bogged down wondering when something was going to truly engage me.
Of course the buzz is huge for this film and I’m sure it will do well – just not well enough for me. The commercials sure do make it look good. Did I like anything about the film? Well, the cinematography is quite beautiful and the score is well done so there’s the plus.
In the end – it is a story of one man’s survival.