Split Review

“Split” is the latest film written and directed by Hollywood’s most polarizing filmmaker, M. Night Shyamalan. It stars James McAvoy…and that’s it. Everyone else might seem recognizable to some, but this is James McAvoy’s show.

The film is about an individual who posses 23 different personalities, kidnaps three random teenagers. Why? Because he simply wants an audience to witness the upcoming 24th personality that will later be emerged later on in the movie.

When I reviewed “The Visit” a couple of years ago, I loved how low budget everything was, much like Shyamalan’s earlier works. It has this dark and twisted sense of humor that definitely steers away from Shyamalan’s other works in which people (including myself) found just beyond awful. However, it wasn’t that good, it was simply OK because it still had those typical Shyamalan tropes everyone is familiar with by now, and not the GOOD kind of Shyamalan tropes (wooden acting, stilted camera work, etc).

Much like “The Visit,” I was VERY hesitant on going in to see this movie. Simply because prior to “Split” and “The Visit,” he made massive turds such as “After Earth” and “The Last Airbender.” Also, let’s not forget that pure enigma of a movie, “The Happening.” Yeah, he has managed to pull off pretty big collections of amazingly BAD movies.

I thought “The Visit” was the initial comeback movie for M. Night, I was dead wrong. “Split” is a genuine comeback for Mr. Shyamalan. This film was dark, a weird sense of humor with an interesting plot to surround it, and it has the best twist that I honestly couldn’t see coming. Yeah, a twist that I will NOT spoil, you just need to see it for yourself. If you want a bit of a clue, GO WATCH SOME OF HIS EARLIER MOVIES, there.

The reason why this movie works so well is James McAvoy, who definitely deserves some kind of Oscar Nom or whatever. This was the best performance he’s ever given. He played more than ONE character in this movie and he literally shows physical and emotional transformations on the screen itself. That ALONE should deserve the price of admission.

The Tropes of Shyamalan are still there and very noticeable. There is a whole subplot regarding one of the three girls and I didn’t find that very intriguing. Maybe it is because it is a kind of storyline that has been done countless of times before.

Also, the whole reasoning of why the psychiatrist was trying to push the idea of multiple-personality-disorders felt kinda forced. At least they explain it very well. There is a reason why Shyamalan picked this kind of story trope, but the way they deliver it was completely forced.

Overall, I personally enjoyed it. I am glad I walked out of a SHYAMALAN film in a good state of mind. What a weird way to start the year off: A GOOD SHYAMALAN MOVIE that came out in the MONTH OF JANUARY. You know, the month was a bunch of movies go to DIE? Please, go check it out, it will shock you just as it did with me.

FINAL VERDICT:
+James McAvoy
+Shyamalan actually CARES
+Cinematography
+Plot
+A REALLY clever TWIST
-Specific uninteresting subplots
-Forced moments
FINAL GRADE: B+

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