‘Split’ enthralls with neurotic performances

By: Sam Martini ~Staff Writer~

Photos courtesy of themovienetwork.com | James McAvoy plays psychotic Kevin.

A great start to the 2017 movie season, Split follows three high school girls kidnapped by Kevin (James McAvoy) and his other 22 personalities as they await the arrival of the 24th personality.

As premises go in Hollywood, Split provides an almost untapped well of potential. Having 23 characters as one provides an opportunity for almost anything to happen.

McAvoy does a brilliant job providing energy and switching among these personalities, making each one different from the other. For the majority of the film, McAvoy only uses four of the personalities, leaving the audience in suspense as to what the other personalities could be and/or do.

The lead of the film is Casey Cooke (Anya Talor-Joy), a high school outcast who is abducted with the other girls after a birthday party. Being more knowledgeable than the other two girls about how to deal with the crazed McAvoy, her character keeps up with him energetically, even when he shows multiple personalities at once. Taylor-Joy, who has only been in the movie business for three years, does an overall decent job.

However, one of the biggest things talked about in association with Split is its writer and director, M. Night Shyamalan. Before Split, Shyamalan hadn’t produced any notable films for close to 15 years, with movies like After Earth and The Last Airbender falling short. Many had sworn off or turned down the film due to this recent work. Split brings a renewed hope in Shyamalan’s future career.

Split is a moderate film with a fantastic performance from McAvoy. This is definitely one to see while it’s out in theaters. It’s a terrific popcorn flick.