Angelina Jolie is a compassionate, committed, courageous force in the world of film; as an actor and director she shines in her professionalism and is worthy of the countless accolades she has garnished over the years.
Unfortunately, in “Unbroken” her judgment was slightly askew; she became too emotionally involved with Louis Zamperini (1917-2014); an Olympic runner, a hero whose tale of gargantuan fortitude and resolve deserved to be shared with the world; based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand (written by the Coen brothers, Richard LaGravenese and William Nicholson) “Louie’s” WWII “red badge of courage” was tortuously, tediously earned; 47 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean, before being captured by the Japanese, moves as if in real time; enormous, inhumane cruelty by “The Bird” Japanese “Sergeant Watanabe” (intriguing, sexually erotic performance by Miyavi) pushed the barbaric bar beyond comprehension; sadistic persecution, redundantly abusive; absurdly, miraculously Louie survived; in the process of making the film he and Jolie developed a connection that admittedly changed their lives; his at the nadir, hers at the pinnacle.
Jack O’Connell gives a valiant, pugnacious spin to the young, truculent Louie; he is devilishly likeable, admirable, especially in the “lost at sea scenes”; Jolie, a fine actor, recognizes the leeway and elasticity that a director must allow the individual in his interpretation; O’Connell superlatively passes.
Tirelessly beautiful to view, Jolie’s homage to Louis Zamperini tragically should have been cauterized at the 120 minute mark; too much of a savage dish to be digested at a solo sitting.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!