Unbroken isn't a bad film, I'll say that. The story, of course, is unbelievably powerful. We've seen it and heard about it dozens of times before, but the fact that people actually went through things like this just blows my mind away. When you look at the way these people were treated, it's inhuman. Based on the story alone, Unbroken is a film that suddenly appeared on my radar. Add in Angelina Jolie to the mix and it really grabbed my attention. Then you put in that it was filmed here in Sydney and wow, I'm all for it. It's not a terrible film by any means, but it's certainly not a great one, nor an overly entertaining one. If you were ever looking to find something to classify as "Oscar bait" then this is the film you need to look to.
The screenplay, which is co-written by a bunch of people, helps to keep the film moving. Unbroken rarely ever stops. It's a film that just keeps on keeping on, constantly moving in a forwards direction. The dialogue works, even if it's a little heavy handed in certain scenes, but there's no lines that ever come out forced. Something new is always happening in the story, whether it's a flashback to before the war or a shark revealing itself from the water in a way that's almost a replica of a certain scene in Jaws. It's a constantly moving film.
However, with this being Oscar bait and all, it does tend to become a bit too biopic-y. It's not anything to do with the true story, but with Unbroken, the film does tend to follow through with a few conventions. Not just in style, but in substance too. It takes us through the entire life of Zamperini, even dedicating the final closing titles to explaining what happened after the events of the film. It plays it safe, taking us through every crucial moment in his life, but doing it without adding anything new to the table.