I've got to be honest with you. My respect for M. Night Shyamalan has faded over the years. I loved THE SIXTH SENSE, but it's only good for two viewings. UNBREAKABLE was the best movie he ever did. I thought SIGNS was all right at first as a story about one man's faith, but all the other stuff weighed me down after that. THE VILLAGE was 100% predictable, and that's not good for a movie that requires a twist to be good. LADY IN THE WATER was self-serving garbage. I gave up with THE HAPPENING. It was so ridiculously bad that I just couldn't take it anymore. I'll give a creator many chances, but I'd met my limit with Shyamalan on that one.
Then I saw him with Matt Dillon at C2E2 showing off the pilot episode of his new show, WAYWARD PINES. I fucking loved it. I wanted to ask questions of them, mainly about FACTOTUM for Matt Dillon, but I was very interested in a sequel to UNBREAKABLE. There were too many people. I didn't get the chance.
But WAYWARD PINES is based on a series of books. Books NOT written by Shyamalan. So . . .
I really wasn't going to see SPLIT. It looked good mostly because James McAvoy was doing a super awesome job in the coming attractions. I hung out with a friend today, and he suggested seeing SPLIT. Fuck it. Why not?
Holy shit. I'm so glad he made this suggestion. This film reminded me of Shyamalan's strengths that I'd forgotten about because of his powerful weaknesses. His attention to detail is meticulous. He knows the importance of quiet, especially when it comes to a score. He can keep his camera still, which is a lost art.
But there's more. I envy McAvoy. This is a role that most serious actors dream about. He got to portray many different characters in one go. It's a QUANTUM LEAP kind of role. It tests an actor's abilities, and McAvoy did it so fucking good. I loved him in FILTH. I'm so glad to see him knock it out of the park on this one.
This is such a wonderfully woven tale. I knew exactly what was going to happen, but that's because I'm a writer. I can't speak for other viewers. I can't help but respect how this story was told. It's wonderful. Everything that happens makes utter sense, especially if you can think ahead. Yeah, it's predictable, but Shyamalan is doing something different than his THE VILLAGE days. He's not depending on a twist. He's building a story, and it's a great story and I love how he did it.
But here's the part I really wanted to talk about. SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT. I'll give you time to back out if you haven't seen it yet. I'm going to hit Enter a few times, and then I'll resume. Follow me if you know where I'm going.
There is a scene near the end of the movie when Kevin-Dennis-Patricia-The Beast or whatever you want to call him is giving a monologue to himself and his other characters into a mirror. It is such a supervillain thing to say that I immediately thought, "Holy shit. I desperately hope that McAvoy is going to be the bad guy in an UNBREAKABLE sequel. I want nothing more in the world than that."
Fast forward a few minutes. It's the final scene in the movie. In a diner. As people find out what really happened to those poor girls from a TV news story. I wanted nothing more than to see Bruce Willis in that diner.
And I fucking got my wish. Holy shit. It was a direct reference to UNBREAKABLE, and there was Bruce Willis, confirming it all! Oh my fucking God! This is happening! David Dunn is going against Kevin and Co.!
Welcome back, Mr. Shyamalan. We've missed you.