He’s back! After a plethora of dead-on-arrival duds like 2010’s “The Last Airbender” and the abysmal “After Earth” in 2013, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan has orchestrated a finely nuanced tale with “Split.”
It’s not a great movie, but “Split” improves on garbage like the aforementioned films, as well as the mess that was “The Happening” in 2008.
“Split” follows James McAvoy’s Dennis, a person with 23 distinct personalities who kidnaps a trio of friends on an ordinary day. The twist in this one is The Beast, a 24th-distinct personality.
Dennis spends time with his therapist, Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley), who knows of the distinct and differing personalities. In a rare move as director, Shyamalan brings back Buckley who he worked with on “The Happening.”
Of the trio of girls, the one who stands out is Anya Taylor-Joy’s Casey Cooke, an outsider who does not really fit into the mix. The other girls are worried about their own welfare and never truly question each other about their dire circumstances.
This film has a major pretzel twist I cannot mention because, in all likelihood, it would curtail readers from spending their hard-earned money on this tale. The plot twist deals with a variety of issues, including abuse and self worth. I would recommend this for suspense fans, but not necessarily at full-price admission.