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Glass (Movie Review - Second Opinion)

Glass (Movie Review - Second Opinion)
9 10

READ JAKE DEE'S TAKE ON THE FILM HERE

PLOT: 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.

REVIEW: Well, here it is. GLASS. Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's simultaneous sequel to his hit films UNBREAKABLE starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson and SPLIT starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy. This movie wraps up what Shyamalan refers to as "The Eastrail 177 Trilogy" and has been a whopping 19 years in the making. UNBREAKABLE centered on Bruce Willis' character David Dunn slowly realizing, with the help of Samuel L. Jackson's Elijah Price aka Mr. Glass that he is, in fact, Superman on Earth. And then SPLIT followed James McAvoy's Kevin Crumb, a man with 23 personalities, who kidnaps Anya Taylor-Joy and friends and plans to feed the young girls to his rising 24th personality - a beastly, otherworldly super-killer named The Beast. And GLASS brings them all together for the final showdown. Was it worth the 19-year wait? Let find out...

Since I want this to be a SPOILER FREE review, I'm not going to go into the usual plot rundown on the film. You can read all you need to know in the synopsis above and/or the trailer/clips contained throughout this site. We all know the basic plot of the movie. Good. But like any other worthy M. Night Shyamalan motion picture, to get too much more into the plot other than extreme broad strokes would begin ruining all the surprises from the get-go. And we're not going to do that here. So instead, let's just move on to talking about the acting on hand here. It was great to see Bruce Willis back in action as David Dunn and I'm happy to say the man gave the role his all and there was no backseat acting going on here. Willis' commitment to the role alone was enough to have me happy with this movie no matter which direction it ultimately went in. And then we have Mr. Glass himself, Samuel L. Jackson. Unfortunately, Jackson is absent from the movie for what is probably literally half the running time. But this didn't bother me. It's called suspense. Tension. The movie is called GLASS. We know Mr. Glass is coming. Holding off on him is a good thing. Let all the mechanics of the dual storytelling play out and find their footing, and THEN bring in Mr. Glass and let him mind-fuck it all up. Thankfully, once he arrives, Jackson is more than up to the task of stepping back into Mr. Glass' wheelchair and has a ball with the roll. It was a joy seeing him do his thing again.

And while we're on the subject of the acting on hand here, it was nice to see some familiar faces from Shyamalan's UNBREAKABLE and SPLIT back on the big screen. Anya Taylor-Joy (THE WITCH) returns as her soul-survivor character Casey Cooke from SPLIT and takes the logical progression for her character. Joy is always a pleasure to watch on-screen and this movie is no exception. Then we have Spencer Treat Clark returning as David Dunn's son, Joseph, and Charlayne Woodard returning as Mr. Glass' mother. Both had more screentime than I expected - about as much as Anya Taylor-Joy (and she's a genuine movie star these days) and their presences were more than welcome. In fact, I could watch a whole fourth "Eastrail 177" movie just dealing with these three as, in the end, it seems that they are the true heart of this series. I'm totally serious by the way, Shyamalan. Get on this spin-off ASAP. Your tale of Gods and Monsters may be over, but the tale of how people live in such a world afterward is prime drama I personally would love to see. Again, with these three as the leads.

But anyhow, as good as Willis, Jackson, Joy, Clark, and Woodard are in this movie, like SPLIT, this is really James McAvoy's show. And the actor is more than game to give it his all, yet again. Seeing McAvoy move from one character to another - sometimes in a no pun intended split second - is a marvel to behold. This is real acting here, ladies and gents and I dug every moment McAvoy was on screen. Plus, if the chore of portraying multiple identities throughout a single movie wasn't enough of a task to be saddled with, McAvoy also transformed his body into Bane-level bulk. We'll call it Baby Bane Bulk. But it's still impressive as all hell. Just like in SPLIT, McAvoy brings his A-game to GLASS and leaves no scene unstolen. This is a performance that people will be talking about for years. It's so good, in fact, that even if you hated UNBREAKABLE and thought SPLIT was the devil's gift to cinema, then I'd STILL recommend checking out GLASS - if only to stare at McAvoy's... um... acting chops.  

And then we have Sarah Paulson... Cue low bass-boom on the soundtrack. Heaven help us. All the issues I have with GLASS stem from Paulson's character. Now let it be said that the problems I have with her character are in no way based on the actress herself or her performance. She's a champ. This is a thankless role and Paulson makes the best of it. Hope to see her in more big-screen movies in the future. No, this isn't an issue with Paulson the actress. All the flaws (if you could even call them that) that arise with her character are all thanks to Shyamalan's screenplay, which as you might imagine takes one too many twists for its own good. The final ten minutes of this movie had me shaking my head in utter frustration and wanting to walk out. But maybe that was the point? The trilogy deals with superheroes and supervillains in the real world - and the real world sucks. That's one hell of a pessimistic take, but maybe that's the point. Maybe. Possibly. I guess we'll see on the second viewing as I know I'll be watching this twice.

In the end, I really liked GLASS. I did. Hell, see the rating I threw it's way below. While a 9/10 is maybe a bit too much for the movie, it's my way of saying that, as a fan of UNBREAKABLE and SPLIT, I enjoyed 90% of what Shyamalan threw at me. That said, and go figure, this is Shyamalan we're talking about, so the movie has a divisive ending. I don't know if I would call it a "surprise ending" (because there is precisely ZERO set-up for the reveal) but it is an ending that people will be talking about long after the (awesome) credits roll. Personally, this last reel cap-off pissed me off. It made me sad. And it made me mad. But it did get an emotional reaction from me. Big time. And that's ever a bad thing, right?

Overall GLASS is a frustrating experience. But maybe that's just because the final plot development wasn't what I was expecting. Maybe its because it's a plot development better left to movies like HALLOWEEN 6. I mean, we've seen this twisty-turn before in many film franchises... but usually, its what's thrown in about 6 or 7 entries down the line when all other outlets have been explored. It's not a development one is used to seeing in the third (and "final") entry of a trilogy. But maybe I'll grow to appreciate this added element in the Eastrail 177 Trilogy. Maybe it was set-up in UNBREAKABLE and SPLIT and we all just missed it. I guess we'll all have to go back and watch the whole trilogy again. And that still sounds like fun to me.

Source: AITH

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