13 July 2015 | videorama-759-859391
Don't split this one off, from Kotchef's other pics
I'm bloody surprised, if bloody dumbfounded, 5 people have only reviewed this film. First, there was Kotchef's First Blood. Then this. Both are fine movies. Split Image really offers something different, where by the end of the film, you feel drained or put through the ringer. This must be a very overlooked film, and that would be an understatement. Though SI, isn't without faults, unlike how the taut and tense, First Blood was handled. There's a bit of sloppiness to the film, as in the skipping part structure. The story revolves around a promising gymnast Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe). He has everything going for him, but his new love becomes his ruin, when he gets mixed up in a cult where young people are suckered into a new life on a plantation camp behind closed gates. It's run by a older guy, Kirklander in a surprisingly underestimated and somewhat creepy performance by Peter Fonda. Let me be honest, he's the best actor in the movie, where the other performances are bloody good too, especially from Keefe, and his new found love, Elizabeth (Karen Allen). On the other side of that coin is James Woods as the deprogrammer who has a hatred for Fonda, that's so immense, it's worrying, even slagging on black and white photo of his nemesis. Keefe's parents are played by Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Ashley, Ashley the better performance of the two who enlists Wood's services, who not really won over, or even show a liking to this lowlife character, who likes to flash his tongue at college girls, while at work with his team, ready to snatch, save- de programme the next mind altered kid. His view on college is interesting too. What's great about Split Image, is we see the views of both sides, like really get inside the life of these cults and how they are run, and it's an interesting duration and insight, I must say. The other side is that of Keefe's family, offering some funny moments, before he's snatched, and then the helplessness, we so much feel for them. The duration of the deprogramming of Keefe, kept captive in an attic, is of course the strongest part/real heart of the movie, as we want so much for this character to be saved, and it's quite a grueling watch, where O'Keefe shows off his best acting in this part, sometimes too convincingly, it's hard to watch. What really didn't convince me, was how easily led Danny was into this cult, which is a sick business, but if this is all it takes, it's frighteningly alarming or sickening, kind of like these young kids being brainwashed into terrorism. The only other issue I had with the film, was the deprogramming bit in the attic, as I strongly feel it would of taken much more time and effort, to bring O'Keefe back to his original self, where to be frank, some kids would be that far gone, they wouldn't be able to be saved. Kotchef makes good films. Christ, he even made Weekend At Bernies, where Split Image, deservedly earns it's place beside them. Check it out. Don't overlook this one. Please.