Trent: Right. So. Everybody has been ragging on M. Night Shyamalan since forever but “Split” is dope. James McAvoy plays a split-up mutant who traps these three fine girls and… Ok, I’m gonna admit I have no idea what he’s intending to do with them because there doesn’t really seem to be much of an end game there, other than to creep them out and ask them to strip to their undies, which I ain’t got a problem with because Anya Taylor Joy is hot, and I ain’t being sexist there –
Tracey: Except you are.
Trent: – But I’m not, all I’m saying is she knows how to do that little trick where, like, her tank-tops are real tight with her boobs pushed out a little, but in a PG-13 kinda way. That’s real tasteful cinematography right there. She was in “The Witch” too. That chick can rock a Puritan cap.
Cousin Franz: I think a case could be made for the way the director addresses the fragile, threatened vitality of these three trapped adolescents. There’s an empowering backstory about the main character’s encounter with a child predator- a man who explicitly embraces the animal nature of his horrible activities. But all these sensitive subjects are not treated in an exploitative manner. The ultimate confrontation is not sexual; it’s just a game of wits between one resourceful heroine and 23 elusive antagonists. There’s also a surprising, beastly 24th slouching towards Bethlehem, as they say. “Split” is tense, taut. It works at a visceral level, and it doesn’t rely on any of Shyamalan’s annoying plot twists, although there is a fine ending that lets the viewer know that the director himself is aware that he hasn’t made a movie this good in quite a long time. But it’s a confident grace note, not a twist.
Grandpa Felicius: Not since Lon Chaney have we seen an actor so willing to distort his rather charming features for the sake of a lurid thrill. Surely, James McAvoy’s performance should have been regaled with applause from the Academy, but alas, this is genre fare and should be seen under that unfortunate light. Also, there’s the seductive Betty Buckley! What a delight to see she hasn’t added one wrinkle since I saw her do her fabulous Grizabella in ’82. Ah, the memory of it all.
Beatricia: I was promised James McAvoy would do 24 personalities. I saw six or seven, tops. He did those fine, but he’s no Tatiana Maslany from “Orphan Black.” Disappointing.
Hank: Oh, babe, if he had to do all 24 personalities the movie would be called “24” and it would be about Jack Bauer. HEY! IDEA! Jack Bauer is trying to stop terrorists- BUT- he’s injected with a serum that makes him change personalities EVERY HOUR. Twenty-four episodes of counter-terrorism, but Jack has a different personality every episode!!!
Tracey: I think there’s enough mental health stigma in this country without a movie that suggests that people with mental health problems are freaking supervillains. I want to like what James does here, but I worry that this movie is too much about “Look, a crazy person! Be scared!” It’s problematic.
Blurbarella: “Problematic — Annoying plot: — James McAvoy plays — seductive — babe–with– Boobs pushed out a little.”
4 Cherries out of 6