M. Night Shyamalan directs Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Bruce Willis in this sequel to Split AND Unbreakable.
After a promising opening where we catch up with impenetrable vigilante David Dunn (Willis, showing a glimmer of his old spark) and McAvoy’s multiple personality nasty… everything suddenly goes on pause. Like our protagonists, we are trapped in an asylum for far too long. The plot is put in a holding pattern for what feels like an hour. Samuel L. Jackson is muted for most of that slog. The heavy lifting is left to the support actors while the stars mope about in custom designed cells. Sarah Paulson and Anya Taylor-Joy get some lovely outfits to pout around in. Meanwhile Unbreakable alumni Spencer Treat Clark and Charlayne Woodward achieve so much with so little you wonder why we haven’t seen more of them since the year 2000. But we didn’t buy a ticket to see the extended cast… we want the supernatural leads to face-off. After a middling breakout, instead of the teased skyscraper-set finale, we stay in a car park. Characters scrap, then make speeches about comic book tropes (tropes I’m not entirely sure hold water), scrap some more, then we get our twist. Is it a good Shyamalan twist? It certainly is a busy one, unspooling probably a whole extra movie worth of ideas in five brisk minutes. Some of that imagery and conspiracy could have easily been seeded through the previous hour where Mr Glass drools into his wheelchair bound lap. A poor conclusion to Unbreakable, one of the finest superhero movies ever made. An adequate follow-up to Split which wasn’t exactly a perfect experience to begin with but was, at the very least, tighter and not deathly boring.