Benjamin Maio Mackay
Unbroken - 2.5 Stars
Emotional war movie is let down by terrible directing, unnecessarily strange cinematography and a run-time of over 2 hours.
Unbroken is a drama that follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis “Louie” Zamperini who, along with two other crewmen, survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash in WWII—only to be caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
The first hour of the film is strong, it has good performances, a solid script, though the cinematography is sometimes strange and sometimes the various elements of the film don’t seem to combine to well. However, still the first hour was enjoyable. After this Angelina Jolie’s lack of directing experience clearly shows as the elements of the film all fall apart. Each individual element is strong, the acting, music, cinematography and script, but none seem to fit together in an appropriate fashion.
The cinematography is good, but doesn’t suit the style of film. While it’s nothing new or innovative it is still strong in it’s own right, but its style lets down the film. The music is well composed and performed, but at times the music seems ill suited to the scenes in the film.
The performance given by Jack O’Connell is outstanding; he captures the pain and rebellious streaks of the character and also the more emotional side. The casting itself is overall strong, but there isn’t anyone among the cast who “stands out” as being more talented than the rest.
Overall there are good elements to this film, but they aren’t brought together well. This movie could’ve been great if it had a more experienced director at the helm. Fans of war movies, docudramas and historical movies will still enjoy this film, but regular cinema-goers may find it uninteresting.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas