DVD Review: Split

It's the voices.

Dennis (James McAvoy) is a troubled man diagnosed with 23 different personalities. His therapist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley) thinks he's a marvel, but his constant emails for emergency meetings have her concerned. And that's for good reason, seeing as he's just kidnapped three teenager girls; the troubled Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and her two red shirts classmates Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia. (Jessica Sula) Casey is the passive one. She doesn't want to fight, she wants to listen and figure this out first. Things start to escalate.

I gave up M. Night Shyamalan movies long ago because they're trash. But when this one got good reviews, I decided I'd give it a chance as I'm a big fan of James McAvoy. He does not disappoint. He's absolutely wonderful in this film and really gets to show off his versatile acting chops, but I have to wonder if this film is getting over praised because Shyamalan didn't massively fuck up again?

Spoilers are coming

Split, in all honestly was pretty dull. It had some good ideas but it never properly built the dread a film like this should rely on. It was always obviously Casey would make it out, and her two friends would not. They're essentially afterthoughts in this film. Just two people to up the body count. The "big Shyamalan twist" at the end was the reappearance of Bruce Willis' character from Unbreakable, which I give him credit as no one saw that coming. But that wasn't even the thing that stuck with me at the end. It was the last look Casey gave the police officer when they said her uncle was here to pick her up.

That same uncle who from various flashbacks we're shown has been sexually abusing Casey since she was a small child. This is meant to explain why Casey is "different" from Claire and Marcia, self harms, cuts class, etc. But I don't think M. Night was the right director to handle something as terrible and triggering as sexual abuse. It felt insincere in his hands. Like it was just another thing he wanted to use to shock. 

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "I'll let you know when I hear something that makes sense." - Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy)


14 comments:

  1. Once again, Shyamalan presents a bunch of ideas and executes none of them well.

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  2. James McAvoy gaves a great performance here, no doubt about that. I do think though that the movie is getting overpraised because it wasn't bad. Considering M. Night's recent string of movies, anything not bad is a good thing. Now that this is connected to another one of his earlier work, there's some anticipation as to how he's going to bring the two movies together.

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    1. I'm glad I wasn't alone in the over praise thing, I expected a lot more from how people were talking. Though it is pretty amazing that Shaymalan made a movie that doesn't completely suck again lol.

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  3. Fully agree with this review. McAvoy was great and the twist was surprising (if not completely random). Hopefully, this will all lead up to a great film in Glass. Unbreakable is my favorite Shyamalan movie, so I'm excited to see what he does with Willis' character next.

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    1. Unbreakable tolerable for me. Sixth Sense is the only film of his I really liked from start to finish but Unbreakable is very decent. Glass will be interesting

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  4. I did enjoy this one, and James McAvoy was simply brilliant, but it didn't 'wow' me like it seemed it did for others. I tried to steer clear of spoilers but when I saw tweets mentioning Split and Unbreakable in the same sentence I put it all together in the first 20 minutes of the movie and I think that ruined it for me a bit.

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    1. The first time I came across the spoiler online, I thought it was a joke. lol

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  5. I don't think Shyamalanadongong was using the sex abuse for shock he is not cynical he just gets caught up with his head in his ass thinking his ideas are more clever than he thinks. That said I do love Unbreakable and the twist was brilliant but generally both the film and McAvoy are overrated. James was amazing but the material didn't let him fully spread his wings

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    1. The sex abuse part just felt so wrong as part of his film. I don't trust him with that type of material at all.

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  6. I liked Split a lot more than you did. The problem I had with it was the monster part, which was a bit far fetched but then again, the element suited well the idea it presented with that Bruce Willis reveal in the end.

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    1. Being an actual monster was interesting, I suppose, had the rest of the film actually worked for me. lol

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  7. Hmmm-I like the actor but when I saw it was M.Night ZZZZZ I thought "Nope". Maybe I will give this a shot just to see if it is even better than that mess of his last crap-2 kids with their grandparents

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    1. It is better than his last like, 10 movies lol. I can't keep track of all the shit he's made anymore.

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