Monday, 21 January 2019

Glass (Movie Review)


Few directors have recorded as many hits and misses in the past two decades as M. Night Shyamalan. And of all his successes, Unbreakable remains my favorite one, a unique take on the superhero origin story which came at a time when such movies were not considered mainstream or commercially viable. He'd won over critics and moviegoers alike with its surprise followup, Split, a psychological thriller released 17 years later. The movie was so successful that many considered it a return to form, so of course, we all anticipated the arrival of the final film in the trilogy, Glass.

The film opens with the Unbreakable David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who has since taken to fighting small-time criminals as The Overseer with the aid of his son, Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark). Having learnt about the actions of The Horde (James McAvoy) at the end of Split, David takes systematic walks through the city streets in the hope of coming in contact with anyone that might lead to finding him. The two superhumans eventually meet, but their showdown is cut short when both are captured by the authorities.

They are subsequently taken to a mental institution, where they meet Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychologist that believes people like them are merely suffering from severe cases of delusion. It is her intention to treat both men, along with her long-time patient, Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a comic book collector whose rare bone disorder had earned him the nickname, Mr. Glass. But unbeknownst to her, Elijah has been harboring plans of his own, and it involves her two newest patients.

I tried to go into Glass with an open mind, I really did. But nothing in this world could have saved the film from its head-scratching and very much convoluted finale. In his attempt to blindside audiences with one of his signature plot twists, Mr. Shyamalan has managed to undo much of the groundwork that had been laid by the two previous movies, and their associated brilliance. None of which is helped by the fact that none of it adds up, at least not within the context of the current film.

This is not to say it was anything as bad as Superman uttering the name, Martha, in the middle of a fight. Far from it. But the bait and switch nature of the twist makes it a poor choice, however you choose to look at it. Still, for all of its shortcomings, Glass remains a refreshingly different take on the superhero genre. The movie had its moments, and fans of Unbreakable would appreciate its adherence to that film's style and vision. It's just a shame that it couldn't have ended on a better note.

12 comments:

  1. I don't see the conclusion as poorly conceived at all. An organization that has kept superheroes (and villains) from emerging would certainly explain why there were none prior to David. That Mr. Glass figures it out is just another way of explaining his genius. I think it works. Most of Shyamalan's movies have been about a system that has sought to control situations, The Village being the prime example. It's nature (run amok) in The Happening. Anyway, I think his whole career has turned out to be viewers trying to prove they're smarter than him, which entirely misses the point.

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    Replies
    1. I'll take it you liked the outcome then. I don't have a problem with the secret organization per say. My problem is with them appearing out of nowhere at the very end with very little explanation for their existence, and them being passed off as an altruistic bunch trying to do the greater good when there was overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It robbed the movie of its overall impact, plus I just feel the whole thing was poorly executed.

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    2. Their being a force for good is their opinion. As for how well-integrated their existence was into the movie, how the psychiatrist was operating, and even the way the ward was being operated, it makes sense given this added information. Most of all, it gives Mr. Glass much more to have accomplished by the end of the movie, explaining his genius as something other than killing a lot of people just to "create" or expose superheroes and/or villains. That's what I liked most of all about the movie.

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