After his career going into the toilet with stinkers such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and After Earth, director M. Night Shyamalan had a surprise hit with the movie Split. The film itself abandoned the director’s slavish dependency on twist endings and for the principal story gave us a nice supernatural, horror thriller instead. Audiences embraced it and it was a nice hit.
But MDawg can’t be blamed for having a little twist in there unrelated to his primary story; the twist drug is hard to kick. So, MCShy adopted a popular tool from his beloved superhero movies: the post-credit scene. As the credits rolled, audiences learned that this film existed in the same continuity as Unbreakable‘s David Dunn, who also had superhuman abilities.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
When we saw him last in that post-credit sequence, David was concerned about the Beast, a supposed, superhuman serial killer, being on the loose. David and his son begin to track him down using technology and his Spider Sense-esque powers.
David finds the multi-personality monster but before they can do serious battle they are captured by the authorities and taken to a mental hospital to be part of an experiment on people who believe they have powers.
Naturally, the third member of the experiment is the villainous Mr Glass; David’s foe the first time around.
- The concept resonated with me as a Geek. I like the idea of heroes among us. This area has been explored before, but this take could have been a fresh perspective if properly executed.
- There was some real suspense and mood. This was mostly around Mr. Glass. During much of the film, he is semi-catatonic, with his only interaction a twitchy eye. Still, he is liked a caged tiger, and you know he is waiting to strike. This, along with the Horde (the name for the group of identities that hold the “light” for the Beast) and their constant craziness roulette, makes for some nice moments.
- Two thirds of the leads brought their A-Game. Samuel L Jackson (Captain Marvel) and James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past) were really great. Despite some huge problems with this film, they delivered really solid performances. Jackson reminds people that despite undergoing the Pacino/Cage phase of his career, has solid acting chops. Instead of chewing the scenery, he is deliberative and lets the moments unfold; which makes things much creepier. McAvoy picks up with the same excellence we saw in the previous film; shifting seamlessly from one character to another in an incredibly believable manner.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
- One third of the cast hasn’t really acted since 2012… Oh, but there were THREE names above the title and one of them just phoned it in. Bruce Willis is now in the Bruce Willis phase of his career where he is there to cash a paycheck and not much more. His last decent performance was either Looper (2012) or maybe even Reds (2010) if you think Looper was just Willis playing Willis.
- The script was pure exposition. This script was crap. There was dreadful dialogue and way too much overexplaining. Dr. Staple, played by the usually delightful Dr Staple seemed to be reading from a University of Michigan college senior thesis on comics. A completely decent concept was ruined by some Cinemax After Hour-esque writing. It is almost like M Night had George Lucas punch up the script for him because he needed some better dialogue. As we all know, it takes sand to make glass…
- It was M Night at his finest. That’s not a compliment. This film insulted the intelligence of its audience and it was everything that made MKnight’s career tank and none of what made Split a fun flick.
This film was more Unbreakable, which I didn’t like, and less Split, which was fun. You might even say this movie was…. comically bad. So cheesy and self-indulgent to the geek community that I would love to read a review of the film by Bill Maher.
Overall, I give Glass a score of 5.5 “True Marvel in the right fonts” out of 10.