Dyson Goes To The Movies!

Okay, I didn’t actually GO to the movies. I streamed and/or watched Blu-ray or DVD versions of them. And a couple of them bordered on horror.

So I’d seen SPLIT, the M. Night Shyamalan movie, some months ago, and was intrigued by Bruce Willis’s cameo at the very end. How do these movies tie together? I’d not seen UNBREAKABLE, so when it came to Prime, I did a viewing.

It was good. Samuel L. Jackson is really good as the comic art expert who has formed a theory about superheroes — they come from legends of former super-powered humans. As such, he has been searching for someone who fits his description, and when Bruce Willis’s character walks out of a train wreck as the sole survivor, and miraculously, uninjured, he thinks he’s found his man. Now all he has to do is convince David (Willis’s character) of this.

When I watch a movie, I want to be entertained, first and foremost. So my first question is, does this movie meet that litmus test? Answer: It does. It has a fun story with great performances and pacing that serves the story. I was invested in the outcome of David’s explorations almost immediately, in much the same fashion as I was in THE SIXTH SENSE, another Willis/Shyamalan film. I believed in him, and I believed that Elijah (Jackson’s fragile character) was actually on to something; his theory about these legends might actually be correct. So this succeeded for me, and I’m glad I watched it.

We followed it with a re-viewing (for me) of SPLIT. I was even more impressed by James McAvoy’s performance than I was the first time around. This is horror; there’s really no getting around it. Three girls have been kidnapped for unknown purposes, and are being held in — well, we really don’t know where they’re being held. It’s just secure and remote, or so it appears. When McAvoy appears with his split personalities (a selection of the 23 he is said to have), he is terrifying.

Again, this one passes the litmus test. I loved watching McAvoy become these various personalities, and I loved watching the supporting characters try to figure out what he’s doing, what he’s becoming, and why he’s becoming whatever it is. Anya Taylor-Joy is very good as the victim who doesn’t fit with the other two. What’s in her backstory? I wanted to know immediately. And in the end, the horror aspects worked really well with the thriller aspects and provided me with a very entertaining film.

At a glance, these two movies seem to have little to do with each other, but if you read close enough, you’ll find the common thread. The third of the series, GLASS, joins the characters from the first two films, along with Elijah, aka Mr. Glass. I don’t want to say too much because it will reveal a lot about the first two films’ stories, but I will just say that this one was the weakest of the trilogy, both in terms of pacing and in terms of actual story. I saw a lot of what the director was going for, but it just felt dragged out. In the end, I watched an entertaining film, still, but I did not like it quite as much as I liked the first two films. Was it a horror film? I think so, by virtue of an even better performance by James McAvoy. Otherwise, it’s a movie that mostly serves to connect two seemingly unrelated stories. Worth watching, but not if you haven’t seen the firrst two.

And that’s “Dyson Goes To The Movies” for this week. Enjoy your life!