“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” (2018)

Drama

Running Time: 98 minutes

Written by: Richard Friedenberg and Ken Hixon

Directed by: Harold Cronk

Featuring: Samuel Hunt, Merritt Patterson, Vincenzo Amato, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Bobby Campo, Bob Gunton, Maddalena Ischiale, David Sakurai and Gary Cole

Released this month on DVD is a movie, “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” (2018) that is, at first glance an oddity as it is a sequel of sorts to a film from 2014 that being “Unbroken” (2014) a true story based around Louis “Louie” Zamperini who qualifies for the 1936 Olympics. When World War II breaks out, Louie enlists in the military. After his plane crashes in the Pacific, he survives an incredible 47 days adrift in a raft, until his capture by the Japanese navy. Sent to a POW camp, Louie becomes the favorite target of a particularly cruel prison commander. It was a high profile film as it was directed by Angelina Jolie as well as featuring in starring roles many young and upcoming actors, it was also seen in the early days of its release as an Academy Awards contender. However the awards never really appeared and the movie faded early from the box office as well as awards contention. 

Now comes a sequel nobody was really asking for, so the question is why, what is the motivation? Well its simple really someone has seen the potential in pivoting this movie towards the faith based genre which over the past ten years has been profitable, of course it does mean that it is good. 

“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s bestselling book, the film begins where the movie “Unbroken” concludes, sharing the next chapter of the true story of Olympian and World War II veteran Louis Zamperini. Haunted by nightmares of his torment, Louie sees himself as anything but a hero. Then, he meets Cynthia, a young woman who captures his eye—and his heart. Louie’s quest for revenge drives him deeper into despair, putting the couple on the brink of divorce until Cynthia experiences Billy Graham’s 1949 Los Angeles Crusade, where both find faith in Jesus Christ, a renewed commitment to their marriage; and, Louie finds forgiveness for his wartime captors.

There is nothing wrong with this movie on the surface it is perfectly well carried out with some very talented people in front of as well as behind the camera, the issue is that “Unbroken: Path to Redemption” is extremely dull, bordering on boring with a narrative that is over the top preachy that you can feel want to lecture an audience on the sins of amorality. To be honest the original was not the most amazing film but it looks like a masterpiece compared to this, it is no wonder it has gone straight to DVD in New Zealand.

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