By Cynthia Bujnicki
“Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.” —IMDB
I have to say, as much as I was looking forward to this film, being a fan of both Unbreakable and Split, I was left very underwhelmed.
The opening of the film was very strong, there is no denying that. Here you have Dunn, the superhuman unbreakable security guard, looking for The Beast, the superhuman villain of Split who seeks to take justice into his own hands. Their ultimate meeting is something viewers have been expecting since Split, but their ultimate confrontation is brought to a quick close as they are captured by the police and Dr. Staple, a psychiatrist specializing in delusions of grandeur. From then on, they are institutionalized, their actions and past put under a microscope for Dr. Stable to take apart and analyze, diminishing them into nothing.
This is were the pace of the film slows to a crawl. That’s not to say that it’s bad, it’s just nothing is really happening, it’s just a lot of dialogue. It also takes some time for Mr. Glass to reveal his genius to audiences everywhere. Again, for most of the film he is a drooling sedated man, or rather appears as such, and doesn’t get to shine. Mr. Glass is, after all, the mastermind, and yes, his ultimate plan is revealed by the end of the movie, but up until that point its all a bunch of dialogue, narrative that drags on. There’s limited underling tension that is customary for Shyamalan’s work, and the revelation at the end of the film isn’t like those of his previous film. Here it really comes out of nowhere, no hints, no allusions, nothing that would require the audience to re-watch to catch those subtle moments that make the ending even more profound and invigorating.
The characters just don’t get to shine for the bulk of the movie. They shine at the beginning and they shine at the end, but for the middle chunk of the film, they don’t, and it’s unfortunate. These are incredible characters, and Shyamalan’s interesting take on the superhero genre, but the film lacks the gravitation to keep the audience interested. (★★☆☆ | C-)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Written by M. Night Shyamalan
Distributed by Universal Pictures