I’m basically just going to spitball on M. Night’s flicks Unbreakable and Split.  I’m not going to go too much into detail on Split but if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want anything spoiled – I would advise clicking out of the article.

I rewatched Unbreakable for what I think was the first time since I saw it in theaters.  I say I think because I remember possibly watching it again but not finishing it.

Watching Split actually got me excited about watching the film again.  After finishing Unbreakable I thought to myself exactly what I thought when I saw it the first time back in 2000: it is a good film with a horrible ending.

The beginning of the film flashes some sentences that talk about comic books, their sales, and their worth (from nothing to thousands of dollars).  This segues to Bruce Willis on a train trying to talk up some hottie while taking off his wedding ring.  It’s like that Bruce?

Bruce’s David Dunn has marriage problems.  He’s a good guy who works hard at his job.  He finds himself the lone survivor of a horrific train crash.  Afterwards he is stalked by Elijah Price, a man very interested in Dunn.  He asks him the questions that he’s never faced before like “have you ever been sick?”  Dunn is a bit confused because he can’t remember being sick.  Trust me…if you’ve never been sick you would remember.

The film turns into an origin story of a man who is pretty extraordinary and how he comes to grips with these powers.  The powers?  Well he’s super strong.  He survived a horrible train crash without a scratch on him so he may be pretty invulnerable.  The film also presents him as psychic.  He could sort of “know things” before the crash but when he actually tries to use this power it grows very strong and he is able to see into a person’s past when he comes into contact with a someone.

Dunn finds a bad guy, overcomes his fears, overcomes his bad guy, and saves the day.  He also finds out the Price (AKA Mr. Glass) was the man behind the train and several different tragedies that killed many people.  Price stopped at nothing to find someone who was the total opposite of him.  Price has a rare disease that makes his bones break.  Because of this he wants to find a man whose bones won’t break no matter what.  He basically becomes a mass murderer to accomplish this.

The audience doesn’t find this out until the very end of the film.  It’s not really a “twist” like in Night’s The Sixth Sense.  It just turns out that the guy who made you what you are killed many people just to find you.  And then what happens?

The film tells us with SENTENCES that Dunn turns Price over to police.  Price goes into a psychiatric hospital.  That’s the end of the film.  He committed many, many mass murders just to find the man who was opposite of him.  Then he goes to a hospital.

Here’s why I don’t like it – and what really brings the entire film down for me.  Night is such an amazing filmmaker and yet, after telling this entire tale, he tells us the ending instead of showing us.  Would it have been that hard after the entire journey we went through to do a two minute montage?  Dunn at the police station, the police arresting Price, the court case where the judge slams the gavel, the sign for the mentally insane facility Price was brought to, Price in a wheelchair staring at the window blankly…then smiling.  

Two minutes.  All he needed to do was wrap his own film.  I always had that problem with Unbreakable and after this watch I still do.  

As an origin story it is quite effective for Bruce’s David Dunn.  He discovers these powers and needs to decide what to do with them.  When he decides to use them for good he actually has warm feelings…something his life was missing.

As for Samuel L. Jackson’s Mr. Glass – he is just a crazy person.  An insanely smart crazy person but he is a madman.

It’s true Superman Vs. Lex Luthor.  Lex can’t take Superman in a fight, he needs to outsmart him.  Glass doesn’t even really do that.  He finds his opposite and is just satisfied that the man exists.

I’m sure no one was expecting Split to be a sequel of sorts to Unbreakable but the film does a great job in introducing our main character Kevin who is also the antagonist.  He kidnaps three young girls and proceeds to psychologically abuse them due to his disorder (23 different personalities).

Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) is the only smart one, the other two are pretty typical teenagers.  

Things don’t end well for them.  Things almost don’t end well for Casey either.

It seems that James McAvoy’s Kevin has a 24th personality named The Beast who has yet to be seen.  Yet when he finally comes McAvoy has an AMAZING transformation.  Suddenly he is a man possessed.  Like he’s been taken over.  He is the embodiment of true evil.

When he gets away in the end and it is revealed that this all happened in the Unbreakable universe it makes you happy.  The thought of David Dunn hunting down Kevin’s Beast (nicknamed The Horde) we finally have a chance to see this hero character face off against a villain character that could possibly give him trouble.

Even if it wasn’t connected to Unbreakable Split was truly a return to form for Shyamalan.  It is perhaps his best film since The Sixth Sense.  The fact that it does turn into an Unbreakable sequel makes it all the better.

A third film on the way?  Looks like it.  And again – it will be great to see a protagonist finally face off against an antagonist in this realistic world Night created.  It’s great to have a film this outstanding and promise a sequel to it straightaway.  It’s pretty exciting.

As for Unbreakable I still find it pretty good but flawed.  Man that ending kills me every time.  Perhaps we will also get to see what Mr. Glass has coming to him as well…but only time will tell.

Read my non-spoiler review of Split here.