Ugh! My sister-in-law said “Well THAT was certainly the FEEL-GOOD movie of the Holiday Season!” (She is a Brit, and quick with the dry humorous observations.)
The fact is, the real-life hero of the movie Unbroken, Louis Zamperini, led a truly extraordinary life. It’s a shame that it became a mediocre movie. And a grinding, unrelenting one as well. Don’t go see it if you are hoping to experience the full arc of his exceptional story, or even to learn exactly HOW he overcame his traumatizing experiences and had a book written about him.
The film is marketed as a inspirational-albeit-tough story. But it is l-o-o-n-g on the Tough and short on the Inspirational. And that is a big mistake because it ends up being emotionally unsatisfying.
You know what I think happened? Angelina Jolie, the director, wanted to focus on the parts that really resonated with her. You know, certain BIG EVENTS, the suffering and unspeakably cruel stuff. I get it. You get it. We all get it. But a good director is a STORYTELLER, and never forgets that this is a MOVIE, and that we really don’t need to be hit over the head, and anyway she’s not very good. (Please see Oliver Stone or Martin Scorsese, who are better.)
Unbroken is broken….and doesn’t work.