Audience’s have finally been granted a look at Angelina Jolie’s third effort as a director; Unbroken. Starring a very British Jack O’Connell doing a very convincing American accent (shock all round), at a first glance Unbroken looked like a sports move of-sorts. However, there is much more to this latest offering from actress turned director Jolie, as the trailer delivers scenes of war horror in a Japanese Prison Camp. From this first trailer release it looks like an epic is on the cards, with the film looking as though it follows the true life story of Louis Zamperini from his early athletics days to the brutality he experienced at the hands of the Japanese, to his journey of recovery after. The trailer makes promises of a film full of moments of O’Connell at his best; hard, brutal and unforgettable. This could just be the film that breaks the Skins actor into the American market. With a supporting cast of Garrett Hedlund and Domhnall Gleeson, and a screenplay written by audience favourite’s Joel and Ethan Coen, Unbroken is shaping up to be a unique epic, which with Jolie at the helm should certainly be achievable and rather enjoyable.
By the looks of the trailer and as already mentioned Unbroken will follow Zamperini from his childhood right through to his time after the war, a generational story which with O’Connell’s powerful charisma could lead him to be this years new filmic hero. O’Connell’s boyish charm, and cheeky-chappy air are all on display in the trailer, hopefully indicating he has put his all into embodying Zamperini, at his best and worst. The ties of family and friendship look to be key in Unbroken and the determination and will of Zamperini as both an athlete, soldier and survivor of a prison camp all look like vital elements to an already seemingly compelling story. However, the scenes showing Zamperini’s training look almost Forest Gump-esque, and surely a film so far apart from the 1994 classic shouldn’t be reminiscent of it. For now, we’ll forget that and hope that the cliches of war and sports films wont let down what promises to be one of the best features of 2014.
Looking as though Unbroken combines aspects of the journey, war and sports feature, it could look to be a little sloppy and perhaps over-whelming (not in a positive way). But, with an actor like O’Connell as the lead, and a feminine approach with Jolie as director, Unbroken shouldn’t be put to one side yet.