Bruce Willis portrays a security guard called David Dunn from Philadelphia. On a return train trip back from New York his train derails causing a catastrophic accident, with him as the only survivor and miraculously emerging unscratched. A seemingly blessed individual or just extremely lucky his escape from the wrecked catches the eye of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a wealthy comic book art dealer. Since birth Elijah has been a victim to an extremely rare bone disease that causes his bones to break easily, resulting in his class peers as a child giving him the nick name Mr Glass. Elijah has an unnerving theory that David’s survival was not just a miraculous escape but rather he has supernatural powers. Just like Elijah’s comic heroes, David has been put on Earth to conquer evil.
Unbreakable is a film from start to end that utilizes comic book imagery. The director and writer M. Night Shyamalan uses countless comic book metaphors to create David Dunn’s character from an emotional broken security guard to a superhero. David’s football stadium security guard raincoat slowly becomes the cape and the realisation of his incredible strength and unbreakable body is only the beginning of a new rescuer voyage. One of the most joyful thoughts of watching Unbreakable is how carefully everything is unravelled to the audience. Every tiny feature between David and Elijah has a deeper and more significant meaning. David’s depression and constant feeling of emptiness is actually him not embracing the superhero within. Elijah’s nick name “Mr Glass” is a combination of New Age zealot and crippled mastermind whose comic art gallery is a metaphor of his secret lair.
What drives Unbreakable is the relationship between Elijah and David and how both of them have very similar lives. The most terrifying thought between them both was not knowing their place in this world and that both characters needed each other to discover their true purpose. David needed Elijah to show him the road to self-actualization and coming to turns with his past, paving the way for his future. Understanding finally who David is and will become, Elijah now knows who he is and it is not until the end that we finally discover that David and Elijah roles are actually opposing forces between good and evil.