HomeEntertainmentMoviesREVIEW: ‘Unbroken: Path to...

REVIEW: ‘Unbroken: Path to Redemption’ is a well-done, powerful sequel

Cynthia Zamperini is a young woman married to a famous Olympian and a decorated World War II veteran.  But despite her outward appearance, she’s not feeling so fortunate. Her husband is Louis Zamperini, who was tortured for two years in a Japanese prison camp and who returned from World War II as a bitter and broken man. God, he says, is his enemy.

Cynthia and Louis Zamperini appear headed for a divorce … until a miracle happens.

He had hoped to make a repeat trip to the Olympics, but an injury shattered that dream. He wanted a good-paying job, but the lack of a degree closed door after door. So now he has turned to alcohol to cover his grief, depression and nightmares about the war. He visits bars instead of looking for a job, and he buys a pistol with the goal of traveling back to Japan and murdering his captors.

Cynthia and Louis Zamperini appear headed for a divorce … until a miracle happens. She invites him to the 1949 Los Angeles Billy Graham Crusade, where he is saved and his life transformed. Immediately, he sees his wife and young daughter in a different light.

“[God] kept me alive … for this,” he says.

Then Zamperini contemplates doing the unthinkable: traveling back to Japan to forgive – not kill – his captors.

The movie Unbroken: Path to Redemption (PG-13) opens this weekend, picking up where the 2014 movie Unbroken ended. It stars Samuel Hunt (Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.) as Zamperini, Merritt Patterson (The Royals) as Cynthia, and Will Graham — the grandson of Billy Graham — as the famous evangelist. It is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book.

Unbroken: Path to Redemption is an inspiring movie that recounts the most amazing chapter in Zamperini’s life – how he found the power, through Christ, to forgive the very men he formerly wanted to kill.

The 2014 film received criticism from some Christian leaders for its omission of Zamperini’s redemption. But Matthew Baer – who produced both films – said the intention always was to make a second movie if the first one had financial success. It would have been impossible, he said, to include the major chapters of Zamperini’s life – his boyhood, his Olympic career, his World War II service, his struggle with PTSD, his encounter with Cynthia, and his moment of salvation – without the movie being three hours.

“Major studios don’t make three-hour versions of movies anymore,” Baer told reporters earlier this month.

And people don’t want to watch a three-hour movie, either.

I was among those who were critical of Unbroken for its lack of faith, but in hindsight, Baer made the right choice. Unbroken: Path to Redemption is an inspiring movie that recounts the most amazing chapter in Zamperini’s life – how he found the power, through Christ, to forgive the very men he formerly wanted to kill.

That said, it’s not a typical faith-based movie, and the spiritual scenes aren’t overbaked. This sequel has crossover appeal, even if it doesn’t have any language or sexuality (unlike other PG-13 movies).

Hunt and Patterson turn in solid performances, and Will Graham is impressive in his role as Billy Graham.

At about 90 minutes, the movie isn’t too long, either.

I wasn’t crazy about every scene, but overall, Unbroken: Path to Redemption is a well-done sequel.

Entertainment rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Family-friendly rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Unbroken: Path to Redemption is rated PG-13 for thematic content and related disturbing images.

About the Author
Michael Foust is the husband of an amazing wife named Julie and the father of four young children. He has covered the intersection of faith and entertainment for more than a decade. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be the first to.know what's happening in the Christian community

More from Author

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the...

Matthew West: Silly song ‘Gobble Gobble’ has served as a bridge to the Gospel

Christian musician Matthew West has won multiple Dove Awards, an American...

Frustrated with Hallmark? Try Great American Family

My family was vacationing at a condo a while back when...

‘Lifemark,’ the Kendricks’ latest movie, perfectly captures the emotions of adoption 

Editor’s note: This monthly series, “5 Family-Friendly Things,” spotlights five family-friendly...

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Prayer, Faith Can Help Teens with Mental Health Issues

A study on teens and young adults confirmed that those who pray and have a relationship with God were more likely to flourish in life more than their peers.

Count Your Blessings Daily, Not Just Once a Year

I heard about a family seated around their table looking at the beautiful golden-brown turkey. Dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, various vegetables, and casseroles complemented the turkey. From the oldest to the youngest, they went around and expressed their praise.

More than 7,000 Kids Decide to Follow Jesus –YFC

The Youth for Christ announced that 7,323 kids and teens decided to follow Jesus Christ this year, twice the record reported in 2021.

Billy Graham Archive & Research Center is Now Open

The new Billy Graham Archive and Research Center opened in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 7, the birthday of the late evangelist.

MercyMe hopes new album can help heal divisions: ‘We’ve got a divided body of Christ’ 

Bart Millard and his MercyMe bandmates began writing some of the songs on their latest album in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, long before the nation was divided over issues that now dominate the headlines.  Millard, though, believes the album’s release in 2022 had been God’s plan...

‘Praise the Lord!’ Ukrainian Christians Cheer Kherson Liberation

Ukrainian Christians celebrate the liberation of Kherson with cheers of praise and thanksgiving, seven months after Russia occupied the city.

JESUS Film Makes History, Now Translated in 2,000 Languages

The JESUS film makes history as it is now translated into its 2,000th language making it the most translated film of all time.

U.S. Renews Calls Against Blasphemy Laws

The United States joined 15 countries in expressing concern over international blasphemy laws.

Franklin Graham Attracts Record-breaking Audience in Italy

More than 13,200 people gathered for an evangelical outreach led by Franklin Graham in Milan, Italy on October 29.

A Hindu PM Marks a Historic Moment in the UK

Rishi Sunak becomes Britain's first Hindu prime minister. He is also the first person of color to hold the highest office in the UK.

A New Biblical Worldview Study Series is Now Available Online

Family Research Council and Summit Ministries announced a partnership launching a new biblical worldview series called Now We Live.

Gen Z Could Change the Faith Landscape in Australia

Two recent surveys on Christianity and the church in Australia found that Gen Zs are generally open to conversations about faith and spirituality.