137 min - Biography | Drama | Sport
Review: Matt Mungle
Angelina Jolie directs an emotional and inspiring film as she
brings the amazingly true story of Louis Zamperini to life. His
is one life that 137 minutes can barely scratch the surface of
so what we get is a solid glimpse into some of the most unbelievable
parts. Jolie has pulled out a moment in time and used that to
show us the heart of Zamperini. It is impossible to watch this
film and not be encouraged and reminded that the human spirit
is a powerful warrior.
Louis Zamperini (Jack O'Connell) was a young man headed straight
for destruction. But through the help of others, mainly his brother
Pete (Alex Russell), he tapped into a talent of running and soon
became an Olympian. WWII soon interrupted his life and while serving
his country he is captured and becomes a POW. While there his
spirit is tested in several ways especially by the camps overseer
Mutsushiro Watanabe (Takamasa Ishihara). The film focus mainly
on his military days while filling in the legacy with flashback
scenes of what brought him to this place.As it all plays out not
only is his perseverance strengthened but he discovers that God
has a plan for his life and Louis vows to see it through.
There are three main backdrops in UNBROKEN.The POW Camp, his
days stranded at sea on a life raft, and his early life growing
up. Each one is fabulously staged and executed. Jolie sucks you
in to each scene and this allows the viewer to experience the
moment and share in Zamperini's predicament. The cinematography
is award worthy and even though the story was enough to make it
a great film, no corners where cut when it came to creating a
beautiful backdrop. It is a blockbuster in every sense of the
For Zamperini to live and breath on the big screen O'Connell
needed to nail the tenacity and inner strength of the character.
You have to see the struggle on the face and the fire in the eyes.
When facing his enemy, whether it be the vast open ocean or a
POW leader, O'Connell has to convince us that he is not going
to give up. When the audience is exhausted and would forgive him
for throwing in the towel Jack has to push through and show he
can go the distance. It is the nature of not only an Olympic athlete
but a war hero. It is also worth mentioning that having a face
that is not familiar makes the role more engaging. You are not
distracted thinking, oh that is just so-and-so playing a part.
UNBROKEN is rated PG-13 for war violence including intense sequences
of brutality, and for brief language. This is an adult film due
to the themes and perils that ZAmperini faces. Though it is safe
for younger viewers it is not necessarily meant for them. There
is an underlying message in the film though that should resonate
and encourage those of any age; that ability to find hope in the
most hopeless of situations and overcome them. If you can take
it, you can make it. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It is a beautiful
portrayal of an unbelievable life.