Introduction to Glass
Glass presents itself as M. Night Shyamalan’s shot at a connected cinematic universe. The story contains tropes for obvious reasons which serves the overall story. While the film does a solid job at weaving the films together, it also disappointingly drops the ball in a few ways. Even with the ball drops though, fans of Unbreakable and Split will still certainly enjoy the film.
It does not appear as your typical hero vs villain type of film even though it shares some of the comic book tropes that we all know.
M. Night Shyamalan tries to explain the time gap between the three films, which he does in a pretty quick and basic way. The issue arises, however, that the explanation is left unfulfilled. His strength comes from weaving in nicely placed flashbacks that stays on pace within the film.
The Cast Shines Bright
The cast brightens this film until it positively shines. The film’s heavy hitters really make every bit of dialogue extremely enjoyable to watch. Seeing Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis on screen together again thrills and excites like none other. James McAvoy performance as The Horde is just once again phenomenal. James almost steals every scene in which he appears as he seamlessly switches between personalities. Samuel L. Jackson plays the role of Mr. Glass so well that you want him in every scene.
Sarah Paulson is brilliant in her role as the psychiatrist who believes she has the answer to correct the “delusion” these three men face. Anya Taylor-Joy reprising her role as Casey was so great to see but she was there to draw the personal connection to The Horde. Seeing Spencer Treat Clark reprise his role as Joseph Dunn and Charlayne Woodard back as Mr. Glass‘s mother was just a special treat to see overall.
The cinematography of the film was well done and every scene was shot with plenty of clarity and flowed the scenes together very well. The use of lighting and the use of shadows helped tell the story in fun ways in the hero/villain tale. M. Night Shyamalan never disappoints with his vision with camera work.
The Meat and Potatoes
Now let’s dig into the meat and potatoes. The film’s pacing lands its mark and the film flows pretty well. If you never watched the other films you won’t be completely lost. The writing flows well enough to where you can follow it without having seen the others. That being said though the film offers a lot of fan service to those who have seen both films prior.
The issue the film has though in some areas is that instead of clever explanations sometimes we just get fan service flashbacks. And yet, the film still offers clever explanations. The film doesn’t have any real slow moments which is a major plus. You get what you came for pretty early on. Disappointingly, however, while the film weaves the three films together, it still lacks the depth you would like to see in a film that hearkens back to a film from 19 years ago.
With that being said the lack of depth proved a dropped ball on what could have been a great film. The lack of dialogue from Samuel L. Jackson disappoints while retaining its cleverness. His lack of dialogue serves the purpose of the film in its entirety. The climax of the film we get to finally see Sam Jack BE Mr. Glass and it was spectacular. The “big show down” though marks the point where the film begins to disappoint. So much happens at once but at the same time it feels like not much occurs. BUT, actually the truth is plenty is going on. The climax of the film seems so cliché and so “been there done that” until the ending of the film.
Twists and Turns
The big twist of the film made me eye roll with a smile on my face as it happened. I did rather enjoy the twist even though midway through the film I had a solid hunch. The clever ending brought the film together in true M. Night fashion and solidified the movie as a good one. Every bit of me that felt unfulfilled throughout suddenly became fulfilled and satisfied. Downside to this though is that once you see the ending it left me feeling that we waited this long just to get to this ending that expands the cinematic universe and not necessarily the ending fans wanted.
Die-hard fans that have been waiting 19 years will enjoy the film but still not feel as fulfilled as they will like. The fan service in the film adds a nice respectable touch but still misses its mark. The ending feels well done and clever but leaves me feeling that the characters themselves deserved more. The ending and big twist will certainly leave fans with Split reactions and opinions (see what I did there?). You’re either going to think the big twist is clever or you’re going to feel the twist is just a cop out to create something larger.
Overall though Glass is M. Night Shyamalan’s proof that he can indeed do a connected universe franchise and make it fun, entertaining, and clever. I highly recommend this film whether your a die hard fan of the previous two or if you just seen Split. The film is absolutely a fun film even with its cliché comic book movie tropes. The big question I ask now: where does the franchise go from here?
No after-credits scene appears, but during the credits scroll images from all three films are shown.
Final thought: 8/10 (Go see it)