The latest in M. Night Shayamalan’s offerings is Split. The IMDB synopsis of the movie says, “Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, and must try and escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th,” which is a pretty accurate summary.
James McAvoy is amazing to watch as he shifts through the various personalities, each one so distinct in their characterization that it’s easy to see who is who. You really kind of forget the rest of the cast, McAvoy is just that enthralling in his portrayal.
The story itself has the twists and turns you’d expect of a M. Night Shayamalan film — including his usual cameo appearance. My only concern is how they somewhat romanticize Dissociative Identity Disorder, talking about how it’s just the next stage in human evolution, tapping into powers and abilities we just don’t understand yet. I get that it’s “just a movie” and I shouldn’t breathe much into what goes on, but there’s just something about that which bothered me somewhat. I state it here more as a fair warning to others who might find it off-putting.
Overall, my husband and I enjoyed the movie, even if the ending was fairly predictable. What we didn’t really expect was the reference back to Unbreakable. What was it? You’ll just have to watch the movie yourself to find out. If you haven’t seen Unbreakable before this one — or if you haven’t seen it in a while — you might watch it first so you get the full benefit.
All-in-all, it’s worth watching in theaters once just for McAvoy’s performance, but you’d be just fine waiting for this to hit Netflix or your favorite rental place, too.