Unbreakable – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Unbreakable

Unbreakable is easily one of M. Night Shyamalan’s early masterpieces. Before superheroes owned the cinema landscape, Unbreakable is small and restrained but grand in scale at the same time. It doesn’t feature many special effects or any epic action sequences. Instead, it’s more of a character drama similar to what we see in modern superhero cinema. No matter what you think of Shyamalan movies, Unbreakable was ahead of its time.

However, in typical Shyamalan fashion, the film moves at such a slow and somber pace. It’s something that’ll not appeal to everyone. However, the mystery of David Dunn is what drives the story. Shyamalan is a master of mystery, and even his worst films have you sitting at the edge of your seat waiting for the big reveal. It’s just that the reveal itself is what makes or breaks his movies. Unbreakable, in my opinion, has a great twist. 

Unbreakable gives audiences a new perspective on the genesis of a superhero and supervillain. Yet what makes Elijah so intriguing is that he’s also a prime example of a serial mass murderer. Elijah, like most mass murderers, was a victim of bullying. “I did it because of the kids. They called me Mr. Glass,” he says. The trauma of ridicule and rejection by your childhood peers is so influential that it can easily destroy a person’s psyche. So his journey to becoming a supervillain is both tragic and sad. 

Overall, Unbreakable is a movie ahead of its time despite a lack of action and thrills. Nevertheless, the superhero genre has enough room for a multitude of interpretations. Unbreakable is a movie that is full of drama and thrills. It’s for those who want to understand the psychology of what makes heroes and villains tick. It was the start of what would eventually become the Eastrail 177 Trilogy, and what an incredible start.

Movie Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Unbreakable - Bruce Willis

Video

Unbreakable hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR10 transfer and a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The whites are a brilliant white that radiates off of the screen. Thus, the highlights and the shine give the picture some depth. When it comes to the blacks, you can see many different shades of black in this transfer. It ranges from a light shade of black to a deep black. These different shades illuminate some details in the shadows, so we’re not left with solid blackness. As soon as you start the movie, you can see just how clear the picture is. It’s a stark contrast to the releases I’ve seen in the past.

As good as the picture clarity looks, the colors are a huge standout in this Ultra HD release. The HDR10 saturates the colors more and, as a result, makes the colors look bold and vibrant. There is a noticeable amount of film grain, especially when David uses his psychometry powers. Otherwise, the film grain is a fine texture that gives it a filmic look. That being said, there was some digital noise reduction that I noticed on certain aspects of the image. The application isn’t overbearing or prevalent throughout, but they are noticeable. Sometimes it’s subtle, while others are more blatant. Regardless, I’m still impressed over how good the picture looks.

Video Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Unbreakable - Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson

Audio

Unbreakable hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Although it would’ve been nice to get a 3D mix with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, it’s not a total necessity for a film such as this. Besides, the 5.1 DTS-HD mix from years ago still sounds excellent. Once we get to the train scene, you hear just how clear and immersive the mix can be. However, the distinct surround channel activity in it is limited. Nevertheless, the effects can be heard throughout the soundstage, creating a subtle and effective level of immersion. This is especially true with scenes such as the underwater sounds of David drowning or the distant unease in the hospital after the crash. Since this is a dialogue-heavy movie, it only makes sense that it takes the most priority over the rest of the mix.

Audio Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Unbreakable - Samuel L. Jackson

Special Features

Unbreakable‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, you can find the following special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Comic Books and Superheroes
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Elijah Taken Away
    • Audrey in Waiting Room
    • David in Shower
    • Elijah at Fair
    • David with Priest
    • Audrey Calls David
    • Weightlifting in Locker Room
  • The Train Station Sequence
  • Night’s First Fight Sequence

Behind the Scenes is a dated exploration of the making of the film from the concept to completion. Like most featurettes from the era, the documentary is a bit dry. Hence, it’ll be a struggle to watch the entire 14-minute feature. Comic Books & Superheroes delves into the influence and power that comic books have on society and modern-day stories. In turn, it also explores the impact of current events, political upheaval, and shifting morals in comic book storytelling. This documentary is essential for those who want to get more into comics. The deleted scenes are EXTENSIVE. Running at almost a half-hour long, the deleted scenes also comes with an introduction from Shyamalan to explain origins and just why they ended up on the cutting room floor. 

There are some great character moments here, so it’s definitely a must-watch for all who are interested. The Train Station Sequence is a brief and very dated examination of the train station sequence where David extensively uses his psychometry powers for the first time. First, it shows you the storyboards with the film’s audio mixed in, then it shows you the final sequence found in the movie. Night’s First Fight Sequence is a mildly amusing short showcasing the home movie Shyamalan made with two friends when he was a boy. It’s interesting to see where he came from, but it’s not essential viewing.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms


Overall, Unbreakable is easily one of M. Night Shyamalan’s best films. Despite some slight issues with the digital noise reduction, the video transfer looks amazing in Ultra HD. It’s definitely worth the upgrade. Unfortunately, the audio mix and bonus features were holdovers from the previous releases. While the audio mix makes sense to hold over (it’s still excellent), the bonus features are a bit of a letdown.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

Unbreakable hits stores on September 21st.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1714 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.

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