This is a movie about a man with multiple personalities played by James McAvoy. James McAvoy also plays Professor Xavier in the X-Men movies. In the X-Men comics, Professor Xavier has a son named David, AKA Legion, who has multiple personalities and just so happened to get his own tv show that premiered on FX just a couple weeks after this film came out. https://youtu.be/Ssnw2GA657s
I know I say this so often in my reviews, but it’s really hard to talk about this movie without spoiling it. So I’ll do my best to talk about this in a technical sense and not go into so much story detail.
It’s pretty well known that M. Night Shyamalan hasn’t had a film that’s had even a decent response from audiences and critics in a while. And it’s difficult to not be critical of him after his terrible interpretation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, not to mention his claim that there were only two ways he could have made it; the way we got or one with Megan Fox… Excuse me a moment. (Screams into pillow) But I digress. So Shyamalan had a lot riding on this film. And thankfully, Shyamalan is back and hopefully better than ever.
James McAvoy is already a brilliant actor, but he deserves a freakin Oscar for his performance in this movie. He’s amazing in this role. Not only does he play several different personalities, but there are actually times where he plays one personality imitating another personality. And I don’t mean like he’s talk with Anya Taylor-Joy or Betty Buckley’s characters, who also were great in this movie, and they’re talking about another one of the personalities and the current one in the light, the term they use in the film for when a certain personality is in control of the body the personalities inhabit, does some sort of impression of another personality. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll see what I mean.
Now speaking of the individual personalities, I found it strange that we never actually saw all of them. All the advertisements told us that there were 24 personalities inhabiting Kevin, the person in which the personalities live. But throughout the entire movie, we only see 9 of them. And two of them were only on screen, for lack of a better term, for a few seconds. But Shyamalan has hinted at a sequel being in the works, so it’s perfectly possible we’ll see the other 15 in the sequel. And oh boy, do I wish I could talk about the possibilities for a/the sequel.
Now this is probably the first time I’ve ever said this about a movie, but this movie really is saved by the ending twist. (I’ll be as vague as possible about this as I can about this.) You see there’s a point in the movie where Dr. Fletcher, Betty Buckley’s character, talks about how people like Kevin can alter their body chemistry with they’re thoughts. At first you think she’s referring to the differences between the personalities. For example, there’s one personality that is diabetic, despite the fact that Kevin nor any of the other personalities are diabetic. But later in the film, something happens that shows it’s not just that and it feels completely out of left field from the very real world feeling, for lack of a better term, the movie had. But then when the twist happens, everything makes perfect sense. In fact, even though I’m not quite sure how, when the twist happened, I completely forgot about some of the issues I had with the movie, despite that they seemingly had nothing to do with what those issues.
But if I did have one complaint, it was with the actresses playing the two other girls that are captured. They were really deadpan at times and acted really dumb in certain situations.
But that is far from enough to make me dislike this movie. The acting apart from those two was great, the atmosphere was fantastic, the pacing was good. And again, the twist is probably my favorite plot twist to date. You will not see it coming, but it will explain so much. I may have to do a second, spoiler filled review so I can talk about. Split gets a 4.75/5 Flowers.
Next time, it’s almost time for one last ride as I begin my review retrospective of the Wolverine Trilogy.