This is an extraordinary real story about a rare kind of American hero that time after time beat all odds and lived an amazing life to well into his 90's. It is absolutely a story worth telling in movie form. It's just a shame that Jolie didn't know completely how to do it. Zamperini without question deserved more than this.
First off, this is not a bad movie. It is solid. But he was more, much more than that. The big problem here is, that he is a guy bursting with heart, and drive. The movie is not. This movie sadly, does not pull you in and get you totally vested in this amazing man's life. It does show you, but doesn't suck you in all the way.
Zamperini grew up in a strict immigrant home in California. He has a troubled childhood. He eventually became a high school track star, and then an Olympic runner in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He then went off to WWII and was a bombardier in the South Pacific in a Army Air Corp Bomber. His plane crashes in the middle of the shark infested Pacific, where he endures 47 days in an inflatable raft.
Then captured by the Japanese, he is taken to a make-shift POW camp, tortured and pumped for information. Then to Tokyo, where he is in a permanent POW camp, tortured by a ruthless Japanese commander for 2 years. Then to another camp for hard labor, aiding the Japanese war effort under extreme duress in the waning days of the war. Tortured there as well for about a year.
No secret, the war ends and he does return home. But what an amazing journey he takes refusing to be broken, and never compromising his American beliefs. Without question an extraordinary man and story. The audience will like this picture, and there is much to be proud of. But upon exiting, you may feel there is just something missing here. And for me that was full immersion into it. This tells the story the way Zamperini told it to Jolie, but for me, she failed to bring you to the point of being there. Instead we are simply watching this.
Unbroken. A true American hero is always good to see on screen. Thank you Mr. Zamperini for the amazing story. Solid...but not near as amazing a movie, as his story really is.