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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Split Movie Review

The Trailer:
The Good:
It certainly looked like James McAvoy really put some serious effort into making these characters work. It's difficult enough for any actor to portray a believable character, but to be able to clearly distinguish between alternate personalities within seconds is just really good acting in itself. Every time McAvoy is on the screen, he's clearly the most interesting person that grabs your attention.

One thing I appreciated about the film were the educational moments. Since the movie does deal with a mental disorder, it was really interesting to hear about the potential theories surrounding the mental illness that may go beyond our normal understanding. It was a great way blurring the lines of normal psychology with that of maybe even the supernatural.

Another aspect of the film that I appreciated was the uniqueness of both the themes and message of the movie. I like to give credit for originality in films, so whether I actually agree with the message/theme is irrelevant. I just like the fact that the movie attempts to communicate something different to help it stand out.

Best of all, director/writer M. Night Shyamalan returns with yet again another classic twist. Obviously, I don't want to ruin that big reveal, so the only thing I'll say is that if you're not familiar with M. Night Shyamalan's movies, then you'll probably miss the significance of the big surprise.

The Bad:
The movie deals with some pretty heavy subject matter. More specifically it deals with abuse (sexual, physical, mental, etc.) While the issues that are explored are disturbing to some degree, it was a little awkward to continuously see the main actresses portrayed in certain situations. Just keep in mind that the main three girls are supposed to be playing high school students, but often times they're placed in situations that are just awkward or uncomfortable to watch. There were even some questionable camera shots that make you just wonder "of all the places to zoom in on her, why there?".

Aside from the moments of awkwardness, the majority of the movie is kind of predictable. Some of the characters do things that are just plain dumb, but we all know they have to be dumb to make the movie interesting.

The Reason

The concern about M. Night going overboard with the unexpected plot reveals or crazy stories can probably now be laid to rest. It appears that the director has taken a more settled approach of surprising audiences and it's apparent in Split. In M. Night's last film, The Visit (Video Review), we see a similar safe approach to main stream audiences too.

If you've been cautious to seeing M. Night films, or if you've been overly scarred from his previous films, then consider Split as a make-up film. Yes, there are some eye rolling moments, but overall the movie is pretty solid. I'd recommend giving it a watch especially if you're a fan of his earlier work.

The Rating: 7.5/10

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My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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  1. I would have given it a higher rating. I've now become a serious M. Night fan, I respect that he writes movies that are all so unique in terms of subject matter. In the case of Split, the directorial style and the execution by both McAvoy and the lead younger actress was so on point! The connection to the unbreakable film also had me fan-girling so hard.