Okay Movie of a Powerful Story
As a child it was his brother who spotted that Louis Zamperini had a talent for running and it was his brother who helped guide him in to becoming an Olympic athlete. But Louis' plans for sporting greatness were interrupted by World War II as he ended up doing his duty in the US Air Force. But when the plane he is on suffers major engine failure Louis and a couple of others survive as they crash in to the Pacific and he even survives floating in the sea in a raft for many weeks with the sharks circling. But after being found his nightmare is not over as he finds himself a prisoner of war in a Japanese camp where he is singled out for brutal treatment from a Japanese solder known as "The Bird".
Does a great story automatically make a great movie? Sometimes I feel that whenever a truly great story is turned in to a movie that it gets a lot of praise because of the power of the story carries the audience. I hate to say this but I believe this is the case with "Unbroken" as the story of Louis Zamperini and what he went through from the survival at sea for several weeks to the brutal treatment he suffered in the prisoner of war camp is powerful stuff. But for me the movie doesn't bring the depth out of the storyline and it ends up an on the surface movie. What I mean by that is that we see all this stuff which Zamperini went through, and it was a lot, but not once did I feel the depth when it came to how he felt. It is the same with the other characters in the movie as I never really felt that these characters were real.
The thing is that what "Unbroken" is, is a very visual movie with a lot of focus on the look of every scene. And every scene is visually attention grabbing from shots on the plane as it gets riddled with bullets during an attack to close encounters with sharks as the men float in a raft at sea. And of course there are the scenes of brutal treatment as we watch Zamperini get hit, punched and forced to lift a heavy wooden beam when he looks like he will collapse. But every scene feels orchestrated to have a great visual look and that includes the casting of a series of handsome actors to play various roles. But because the attention feels like it is on the look it robs the movie of the depth.
What this all boils down to is that as a movie "Unbroken" is just okay with a heavy focus on telling the story in a visual manner. But for me it doesn't bring out the depth and as such by the end I feel that whilst I have seen what Zamperini went through I don't feel like I got to know him or anyone else in the movie.