M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s Unbreakable, from Touchstone, and 2016’s Split, from Universal—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: Glass.
From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.
Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.
What We Thought:
I’m not a M. Night Shyamalan fan. He’s made one film I’d consider watching again and it’s not associated with his M. Night Movie Universe. His new film Glass is part of that universe. It’s a sequel to both Unbreakable and Split. I haven’t seen Unbreakable since the year it came out and saw Split at the theater and had no interest in ever seeing it again. I thought James McAvoy was fantastic in Split, but the movie, especially the ridiculous ending did nothing for me. McAvoy’s multiple personality character from Split returns for Glass as does Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson from Unbreakable.
Not enjoying Split and barely remembering much of Unbreakable didn’t give me high expectations for Glass and I pretty much got the movie I expected. I’ll be nice and state some of the positives or at least a few things I liked first. I liked a lot of the cinematography. It has some great camera movement and angles and gives the film a frenetic look and vibe at times. The third act is pretty fast paced and could rival most of the style of comic book movies today.
I liked the score a lot as well. Along with the camera action, the score helped with the feel of the movie. It has a good color palette too. Each character seems to get their own “color” and backdrops have coloring and shading to set the mood. The acting is fine I guess. I liked McAvoy’s performance in Split and he’s good here, but because I knew the character already, it wasn’t as entertaining. The different personalities were well developed in the first film so I wasn’t surprised, shocked or even entertained by the different ones as much. The cast is full of veteran actors and they are all fine.
Unfortunately the film is painfully slow. It’s over 2 hours long and it shouldn’t be. Being long doesn’t automatically make a movie suspenseful. If it came in around 100 minutes, it would feel tighter and have a lot fewer unnecessary scenes.
Because it’s so long, it loses steam in the second act. The first act shows Willis’ character being a vigilante and trying to track down McAvoy’s character. It reintroduces us to Willis’ son and Anya Taylor-Joy plus introduces us to Sarah Paulson’s character. Then it crawls while the three men with odd abilities are held in an asylum type place and tried to be controlled and convinced they are normal. It lost my interest at this point.
But then the third act starts to kick in and you think we are finally getting the showdown we expect at this point. The characters themselves even talk about a showdown (yeah the film gets super comic meta which is unnecessary as well). Will The Beast defeat The Overseer?
Oh please it’s M. Night Shyamalan, there has to be a twist! Instead of the third act being great and giving the audience what they deserve, we get an unnecessary surprise that ultimately means nothing to the film. Sure it explains a bit of the origin of the characters, but who cares at this point? Then you think it’s done but nope, M. Night is not done with you! Another twist that ultimately is unnecessary to this movie. Unless he decides this is going to be a franchise that plays out over the next decade, none of it ultimately means a thing to this actual movie.
Regardless of my eye rolling at the movie, Glass will make money. Somehow people like M. Night films despite them being as formulaic as a Pixar flick. I sat there waiting for a ridiculous twist and got two of them. Maybe a shorter, tighter, less M. Night storytelling movie would have been better but as is, I won’t be seeing it again.
Starring: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, with Sarah Paulson and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Produced By: M. Night Shyamalan, Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock, Ashwin Rajan
Executive Produced By: Steven Schneider, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Kevin Frakes