Ed. Note: Sean Davis has won the race to review the first movie released in 2017 with M. Night's Split (2017).
I rarely fall asleep, or even doze off, during movies (especially when I’m in a theater) but I found myself nodding off during “Split”. “Split” is the latest from M. Night Shyamalan, and to his credit, the best part was the “twist” at the end of the film. Other than that, and James McAvoy’s really great performance, the movie was far too slow paced for me.
McAvoy plays a character that has 23 distinct personalities; he rotates primarily between about 3 or 4. Two of them, “Dennis” and another I can’t remember, are very disturbed individuals. “Dennis” has an affinity for young girls, and his abduction of three young girls sets the films plot in motion.
From there, we get to see the girls try and manage their incarceration, finding various ways to try and escape. We see McAvoy’s character going to see a therapist on a number of occasions, where she slowly figures out that “Dennis” has been making appearances.
Honestly, the best parts of the movie are when you get to see McAvoy’s “transformation” from one personality to another; he gives each just enough of a nuanced change in facial features, tone of voice, and “accents” that go along way with changing the film’s tone in very smooth ways.
And, even though I’m not entirely sure M. Night was going for laughs, there are quite a few, and they really play. Most of them come from McAvoy’s delivery of certain lines, not just the dialogue, but the subtlety of his facial expressions and body language.
I won’t spoil the “twist” at the end, but I’ll go so far as to say that if it tells of what I hope it tells, then a future film which crosses “Split” with another M. Night film could be in our future, and that possibility has me excited.