Glass - Review
Glass is the culmination of a 19 year story. It was a trilogy that no one saw coming after Unbreakable and Split. M. Night Shyamalan is a bold filmmaker, and even if his stories don't resonate with everybody, there is no denying that he goes all out every time.
There will be spoilers throughout.
Glass is a commentary on the current state of comic book culture in the world, and it is not a very flattering one. I don't think Shyamalan hates comic book movies - he made one. But he wasn't glorifying them either.
The movie plays with a ton of really great ideas, but none of them fully come to fruition. There are some definite seeds planted in both Unbreakable and Split that pay off here, but the big force here, and the big payoff, come out of nowhere. No set up, and not a lot of explanation. It is just dropped on us and we are expected to be okay with it.
Some of the most intriguing parts are when the supporting characters - one from each of our main characters lives, show up to interact with them. The character payoffs are the highlight, until the end when the 3 most interesting people to watch are unceremoniously disposed of, in order to make it seem like this society we know nothing about is what we are supposed to be invested in. "The bigger picture" was not as interesting as David, Elijah, and Kevin.
Without a doubt, the strongest part of the movie is James McAvoy. Him seamlessly switching through multiple different characters is a joy to watch. He did even more characters this time than he did for Split. As strong as Samuel L. Jackson was, and he was stronger than ever as Elijah, McAvoy elevates the material to the next level.
Bruce Willis is Bruce Willis is Bruce Willis. He was fine, but forgettable in the midst of McAvoy and Jackson. Sarah Paulson as Dr. Elle Staple was great too. She played it as straight as could be, and the only reason you would suspect anything is because it is a Shyamalan movie, so you have to suspect everything.
If we had more background on the motives of Dr. Staple's group, the movie would have felt fuller. Instead, the movie is just fine. It is not bad in the grand scheme of things, but is also not as full and complete as Unbreakable or as suspenseful as Split. It gets slow in places, and more times than not, the slow burn has no pay off.
It was nice to revisit old familiar characters again, and they all got definitive endings. But it is definitely off-putting how fast things happened, One thing that didn't work for me was Elijah Price narrating everything. "This is where the bad guys team up", "This is an origin story", "All the main characters are together now", etc. It felt like unnecessary hand holding.
The first 2/3rds of the movie work well, but Glass doesn't stick the landing. The whole trilogy is diminishing returns. The movie slowly builds to something, and then ends so abruptly that it is a bit jarring.
Regardless, if you are seeking closure on characters you met 19 years ago, you will find it here. But it won't be what is in your head. There are certain brands that people need to see exactly what is in their head or it is a disappointment. Shyamalan is one of those brands. Glass will be divisive, but hopefully fun to talk about.
Glass is in theaters everywhere now.