Just in time for Oscar season comes M. Night Shyamalan’s Split, in which a man with 23 personalities (James McAvoy) abducts three girls who don’t have one personality between them.


10 Cloverfield Raising Cain

In the film itself we only see about four of the personalities, so why make it 23? Clearly it’s for attention. Shyamalan has watched the multiple-personality movies of Hitchcock and De Palma and said: “Those characters only had a couple of personalities each – mine’s going to have 23!” After all, this is a man who’s devoted most of his career to attempting to trick his audience at the expense of proper storytelling.

McAvoy deserves 23 Razzies for his performance, failing to change his voice, appearance or frankly his personality at any point. The only personalities we can distinguish from the rest are a woman (because she wears high heels) and a child (because he has a lisp). It’s hilarious. But once again, Spamalan thinks he’s making a scary movie. And once again, he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. There are also –

Excuse me, I have to interject here – I’m one of your other personalities. I’m a woman, which is why I’m wearing a necklace and pursing my lips. I think you’re being very unfair. I really liked this film. Mind you, I was lobotomised last year.

As I was saying, there are also 23 plot holes – but like Shamalan, I’m only going to share four. McAvoy’s various personalities keep emailing their doctor (Betty Buckley) behind his back, so why doesn’t he just get rid of the computer? Why don’t the girls make any serious attempt to kill him? Why doesn’t the doctor tell the police, given that she’s pretty much aware of what’s going on? And why don’t the girls have any clothes on? Salmonman makes films without style or sense, and nowhere is his exaggerated sense of his own significance more apparent than in Split‘s laughable final scene.

No you’re laughable. I’m a nine-year-old boy, which ith why I’m lithping. Thith movie ith awethome! I loved the twitht at the end where –

Don’t ruin it! You’ll put M. Night Scamalan out of a job. But thanks for reminding me. There are not one, not two, but three twists in this movie, and each one is dumber than the last. Rather than playing with the multiple-personality idea in an interesting way, ShyamaLaLaLand chooses to repeatedly defy logic and exploit illness in a manner that’s risible and offensive (to cinema, mostly).

Shut up, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m another one of your personalities, and unlike you I’m a professional film critic. I write for Little White Den of Guardian, and I think you’ll find this movie has 77% on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing. James McAvoy gives his “finest turn since Filth“, in “a solid example of the type of elevated B-movie potboiler at which Shyamalan excels” as his “comeback tour continues.” 

What comeback? You mean he’s making money again because they stopped trusting him with big budgets after The Last Airbender and After Earth. That’s no reason to reappraise a filmmaker who’s proved himself utterly incompetent over the last two decades. True to form, Split makes like a banana and goes rotten in the corner.

6 responses to “Split

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