This lovingly rendered World War II-era biopic of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), an Olympic runner and member of a bombardier crew who survived a disastrous plane crash, 47 days in a life raft with a pair of fellow survivors and the final days of the war in a prisoner of war camp, captures the extreme harshness of the conditions throughout Zamperini’s journey — going back to his early childhood days as a loner delinquent struggling to find his way.
The surprising thing about Unbroken, considering the presence of Angelina Jolie at the helm, is how reverent and traditional the approach feels. The resulting film offers no real hint of the inner demons or darkness of character in Zamperini that might have driven him early on, and kept him afloat during the truly harrowing WWII phase. Instead, we are led to believe simple platitudes were enough. (PG-13) Grade: B