Movie Reviews

Published on January 16th, 2019 | by gareth

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GLASS

It is hard to believe it has been 19 years since “Unbreakable” arrived in cinemas as the film seemed to setup a sequel but it did not look like it would come to fruition. That all changed in 2016 when “Split” arrived and shocked audiences with a late reveal that showed a connection to the film. Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan has wasted no time in bringing the new film to fans with the arrival of “GLASS”. The film picks up soon after the events of “Split” as The Horde embodied by 23 personalities in the form of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) continues to kidnap young girls to serve to his highly dangerous 24th personality The Beast.

Security expert David Dunn (Bruce Willis) along with the help of his son attempts to locate the Horde as a new group of girls has gone missing. In time David locates The Beast and the two clash; but end up captured by authorities and sent to a facility for evaluation.

Their captive Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) believes their special abilities are in their minds and that they really do not have the special abilities they believe they do. Each of them have a special cell designed to restrain them as David is under threat of being doused with water while Kevin has a series of strobes which will halt him and trigger a new personality.

Added to the mix is Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who has been at the facility under heavy sedation after the events of “Unbreakable”.

As the therapy unfolds it becomes clear that an elaborate game of cat and mouse is underway between Price and her charges as each seems to have their own agenda. This all builds to a very unusual final act which left me pondering if I enjoyed the final result or was disappointed with it.

The film seems to slowly be building to a big finale but yet it is far more restrained than one would expect. The film has a constant theme of Super Heroes and their traditional stories and roles as well as that of their Super Villains.

One expects a massive Battle Royale complete with elaborate FX but the film takes a more restrained approach and in doing so may disappoint some fans while pleasing others. The film naturally has its twist moments and while I will not spoil it, I can say I predicted it before I even saw the film. When I saw “Split” I actually told my wife my theory and low and behold it was true. I also predicted the twists for many of Shyamalan’s previous films so I had hoped for a bit more in this regard. The film does offer up some interesting options for another sequel or Spin-Off and the cast was very good especially McAvoy who adds to his menagerie of characters by showing audiences a few more of the ones previously undisclosed.

The film is at times very enjoyable and at times a bit frustrating as it seems to deviate from themes and elements that were setup earlier. That being said it does very much appear that this could indeed be just the start of something much bigger in the series.

3.5 stars out of 5

Second review by

Christopher Daniels

Glass, despite its lackluster moments, is the culmination of a journey we didn’t know we were on — and it’s the one we didn’t know we were waiting for.

In 2000, M. Night Shyamalan brought together Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright Penn, and others, to create a comic book movie. This was before the golden age of modern comic book movies, which started with Marvel’s Iron Man in 2008. Unbreakable was never billed as a comic book movie, and wasn’t filmed as such. Shyamalan was told to make it a thriller.   And so he did.

In 2016, Shyamalan, together with the masterful James McAvoy, created a separate film called Split. At least, it seemed to be separate — right until the end, when Willis’ character from Unbreakable, David Dunn, appears in the last 10 seconds, and brings the stories together with one short line.

Here in 2019, Glass turns out to be the third film in what is now known to be a trilogy — one that took nearly 20 years to create. I am genuinely curious to hear more backstory from Shyamalan on how this story’s legacy played out.

For now, let’s dive into Glass.

The plot begins with David and his now twenty-something son (same actor) running a private home security company. David often takes “walks” around town to do good.

Dunn crosses paths with McAvoy’s character(s) from Split: a man with dissociative identity disorder. The man has captured four more victims for his most dangerous personality: The Beast.

Dunn immediately engages the The Beast in combat, which leads to an unexpected encounter with a third party, a doctor, who knows way too much about them.

The two are incarcerated together, in the same facility that Mr. Glass has been kept.  This causes the tensions and stakes to rise even further, as we have yet to fully understand what Glass’ plan may be.

This movie is extremely well made; one of Shyamalan’s best, aside from Split. The close ups bring a high level of intensity, and the twists and turns will keep you guessing as to what will happen next.  

The cinematography is also impressive, using exceptional light and dark to accentuate the drama and mysticism of it all. The acting is superb, and the aging of the characters gives weight to a story that spans many years.

The final 15 minutes marred an otherwise fantastic film. We needed the payoff of an explanation for the film’s events, but they overdid it. The level of detail was a distraction from the plot. Several times, a sentence or two shed enough light on a situation for viewers to get the point. But Shyamalan was more verbose than necessary, both with words and actions. This broke the immersion, rather than adding to the excitement of the moment.

Other than that, this is an exceptional movie that I recommend for everyone. If you were a fan of the previous two films, get yourself to a theater now!

4 out of 5 Stars
Edited by Jeff Boehm

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