Split: A mam­moth task for McAvoy

Dalby Herald - - LIFE -

JAMES McAvoy is a force to be reck­oned with in Split. The X-Men favourite takes on the com­plex and dis­jointed role of Kevin, a man with at least 23 dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties, in the lat­est psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller from M Night Shya­malan.

Shift­ing back and forth be­tween very dis­tinct per­son­al­i­ties, rang­ing from a woman to a bud­ding fash­ion de­signer to an eight-year-old boy, McAvoy por­trays Kevin’s dis­so­cia­tive iden­tity dis­or­der con­vinc­ingly.

It’s a mam­moth task I can’t imag­ine many other ac­tors be­ing ca­pa­ble of achiev­ing.

Shya­malan doesn’t mess about, get­ting straight into the ac­tion within the first few min­utes of the film.

Den­nis, one of Kevin’s more de­vi­ous per­son­al­i­ties, which his mild-man­nered al­ter ego Barry has tried to keep in check, rises to the sur­face and com­pels him to abduct three teenage girls.

Af­ter they are drugged, the girls wake up in a locked room which is part of a se­ries of claus­tro­pho­bic rooms and hall­ways Den­nis has se­cured to pre­vent their es­cape.

As the film reaches its men­ac­ing cli­max, I found my­self in awe of McAvoy and the phys­i­cal in­ten­sity be brings to the role.

While there’s not that much gore, or even vi­o­lence, in Split it still had me on the edge of my seat.

Among the life-or-death drama, Shya­malan finds a few brief mo­ments to slyly sneak in some com­edy.

The writer/di­rec­tor cer­tainly seems to have found his groove again.

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