I decided that it was past time for the House of Stuff to schedule one of our special mid afternoon showings at the always accommodating Livermore 13 Cinemas. We drew a Trumpish capacity crowd, at least 10 other people, for the mid week showing of Split. The festival reserved one of the large theaters with the big recliner seats and everyone seemed comfortable during the warm up. They recently starting having you select a seat when you buy a ticket, just like at a big rock concert. It seems strange for a near empty movie but …
Split stars James “Professor X” McAvoy as a nut job with 24 split personalities. He kidnaps 3 hot young chicks wearing mini skirts and takes them back to his pad. McAvoy keeps them prisoner and visits them each time he switches to a different personality. The girls try everything from flirting to trickery to escape from his clutches with little success. Meanwhile McAvoy has ongoing visits with his psychiatrist who is trying to convince the medical community that she has documented cases where the personalities within a single individual exhibit physical differences unique to that personality. Finally there is a third segmented story line mixed in about one of the girls as a youngster that’s critical to understanding her role in Split.
James McAvoy gets the spotlight role as the goofball with 24 different people living in his brain, collectively referred to as “The Hoard”. He does a nice job juggling around 6 or so on screen characters, while we only hear that the rest exist. He may be a bit over the top at times but overall he succeeds in conveying multiple types of weirdness. The guy who captures the girls is menacingly weird while the fashion designer who visits the psychiatrist is evasively weird. He’s particularly good once he starts to physically change into the monstrous and dangerously weird “The Beast”, .
I really enjoyed much of Split. M. Night Shyamalan is not one of my favorite directors. He’s good at creating suspense but sometimes certain aspects of his stories are ridiculous. Split is a pretty good film right up until the very unsatisfying before credits non ending. Then there is a second ending in a diner with people watching the news and suddenly Bruce Willis pops up and says “His name was Mr. Glass” and that’s it. I did some research and determined it was a reference to one of Shyamalan’s earlier movies, Unbreakable. I may schedule that movie for later on to learn about Mr Glass, hopefully it has as many leg shots as Split.