This review contains spoilers to Glass
Some see the glass as half full. Some see the glass as half empty. M. Knight Shyamalan sees the Glass as the
unbreakable unpredictable culmination of his slow-motion-trilogy.
The worlds of Unbreakable and Split collide at a mental hospital in Philadelphia. That’s where our Unbreakable hero, David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, and our Split villain Kevin W. Crumb and his myriad personalities, played by James McAvoy, find themselves being manipulated by the master of all masterminds, Elijah Price, aka Mr. Glass, played by Samuel L. Jackson.
The brilliance of this movie is it shatters expectations. Not that it’s the end-all, be-all of the superhero genre. But because everything you expect to happen is either a red herring or has a clever (though in hindsight, predictable) twist.
Deep revelations discovered by their ‘therapist’? Nope.
Daring escape from the hospital grounds. Not quite.
Battle Royale played out 90 stories above ground? Never gonna happen.
Glass, the move and the character, avoid cliché like plague. But there is one nod to Bruce’s cinematic past. We are led to believe the big explosive finale between David and Beast (one of Crumb’s personalities) will go down at a high-rise named Osaka Tower. Willis’ Die Hard had an explosive finale high above the ground at Nakatomi Plaza. The movie is also set around the Christmas season. Subtle.
Tri Tri Again
Three is a very important number in Glass. It is the third film in the trilogy. It brings together our three main characters. And each of them brings an advocate: Dunn’s son (the same actor who played his kid 19 years ago in Unbreakable!), Elijah’s mother, and Beast’s beauty, Casey, the one he let go.
And the triangle is masterfully used as foreshadowing device. When Dunn and his son are trying to track down where Beast/Kevin is keeping his latest victims. They have a triangular area but believe the kidnapper comes from outside the area nearby.
Later, outside the hospital, Glass, Dunn, & Beast/Kevin are in a similar triangle. And like the first triangle, there will be a force from outside that will upset everything.
Glass’ goal was never freedom from the hospital. It is freedom from anonymity. Freedom from the confines of comic books. Freedom from silence.
Glass takes every twist and twists it further than you would ever imagine. The result is satisfying in that we are given something new from a storytelling perspective. It is also sad because we won’t likely be seeing these characters again. Even though Glass meets his end, he describes it as an origin story.
There are certainly more stories to be told, but it would be hard to be as satisfying as this one/trilogy.
Don’t Be Hatin’
The film is getting some seriously mixed reviews, and, quite frankly, I don’t get it. Yes, the pacing is methodical. The camera work of primarily closeups and extreme wide shots sets a subconsciously unsettling tone. Perhaps that’s too much for some, including my
cocktailing critical brethren.
But this film reminds us of why we love M. Knight, The Village not withstanding.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Three Wise Men, a shot of Jack (Daniels), a shot of Jim (Beam), and a shot of Johnnie (Walker). An intoxicating tribute to our fallen hero, villain, and mastermind.