Home / Entertainment / Glass Review: M. Night Shyamalan's Deeply Unsatisfactory Thriller

Glass Review: M. Night Shyamalan's Deeply Unsatisfactory Thriller

The most exciting thing about M. Night Shyamalan's thriller 2017 Split in which James McAvoy starred as a kidnapper with dissociative identity disorder came in the end after his character (named Kevin Wendell Crumb, called). The Horde ") had one of his captives, a young girl named Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), flee.

While the news of a fatal killer was being played on a television in a diner, several guests noted the similarity between this new case and a case of fifteen years earlier in which a man in a wheelchair was detained after the authorities had discovered that he had a thought leader a grisly train crash. The patrons could not remember the name of this killer until another man turned to them in the diner and said, "Mr. Glass.

This man was Bruce Willis in an unrelated comeboot as David Dunn – his character from Shyamalan's 2000 film Unbreakable . In this film, Dunn is an ordinary Philadelphian who discovers he has seemingly supernatural powers: immense physical strength, the ability to endure physical violence, and the ability to see people's darkest secrets by brushing against them. It's Dunn who finds out that Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), nicknamed Mr. Glass at an early age because of his exceedingly brittle bones, was actually planning the train wreckage, from which only Dunn was left intact. And Price was arrested, which reminded the diner guests.

Dunn's appearance at the end of Split signaled that the film was in fact a sort of back door sequel to Unbreakable . It had not been advertised this way, and apart from the fact that it took place in Shyamalan's hometown of Philadelphia (a common frame for the director's work), there was no evidence that the two films until that final scene existed in the same film universe.

The revelation prompted Shyamalan fans to speculate about a future third movie involving both characters. When Split raised $ 278 million (with a budget of $ 9 million), this possibility became reality: three months after the release of Split9453 Shyamalan announced that he had begun production , named Glass probably for Jackson's character.

Sequels are risky for any director; Fans have expectations and filmmakers want to replicate success without simply copying the same formula. Making a crossover sequel like Glass which would have to bring together not only characters from two different films, but also the very different sounds of those films, seemed particularly harsh.

Shyamalan always swings to the fences. Glass is no exception.

This time, however, it is a momentum and a failure.

  James McAvoy returns as a split-figure Kevin Wendell Crumb in Glass.

James McAvoy returns as Split Split Kevin Wendell Crumb Glass .
Universal Pictures

To understand Glass you must refresh the two combined storylines

that you would like to see (19459003) Unbreakable and Split They see Glass because the film does not spend a lot of time recapitulating either of them. Glass seizes several years after the end of split and 19 years After the events of Unbreakable .

As with all Shyamalan films, saying too much about Glass & # 39; conspiracy means spoiling the movie I just set it up: Dunn, assisted by his now-grown son Joe (Spencer Treat Clark), runs a private security firm that does his "right" job: he patrols a rain poncho as a Vigilante detective in a city called Rain Poncho. he begins squirming that teenage girls have disappeared all over the city, and notes (with some helpless help from Joe) that they are being held in a warehouse.

Their kidnapper is Split "Horde", the various personalities who live in Kevin Wendell Crumb. And these personalities are eagerly awaiting the emergence of his most angry, vengeful and deadly personality: the beast.

Dunn frees the girls and fights the beast, but through a series of unfortunate events, both men end up in a psychiatric ward run by Drs. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Dr. Staple specializes in patients who work under the illusion of being comic characters. And of course she has another patient: the heavily sedated Elijah Price, aka [Glass] Unbreakable

  by Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and Bruce Willis in Glass

by Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and Bruce Willis in Glass .
Universal Pictures

This sounds like a great setup for a movie, I know. What ingenious plan does Shyamalan have for putting these characters together? A strong, reluctant, intuitive hero weakened only by water (hence the rain poncho); a criminal thinker with bones like glass; A man with 24 different personalities lives in him – surely there is a combination somewhere here that will lead to a great storytelling.

It's really funny and disappointing that Glass feels so sluggish. It's a cool-sounding concept that obviously seeks and fails for a reason to exist.

Glass gets lost in the labyrinth of his combined stories.

The charm of Unbreakable with its slow and subdued realism, was that it felt like it was easily deconstructing the idea of ​​comic storylines suggesting they were actually based on reality, and then figure out what it might look like to be played in the real life of a person. It was not important that the way Elijah Price explained his theories about comics tell a sort of unwritten story of the world, based on events someone had experienced in the past that did not make much sense under control. The pathos of David Dunn's story of struggling with his relationships with his wife and son when he found out that he had been brought to Earth for a greater purpose made the film a success. It's a drama, more than a thriller.

And the kinetics split as far as it worked (for my money it is a much weaker movie than Unbreakable ), was largely borne out by the hypnotic performance of James McAvoy, who gave the impression He revealed that, in fact, 24 different characters lived under his skin as he turned from one to the next, changing and influencing accents while being truly threatening.

To work Glass it had to combine the frenetic energy of Split and the quiet tempo of Unbreakable whereby Price grouped together the theories about comic book stories Dunn's exploits and Crumb's unpredictability in a high ropes course.

  Sarah Paulson plays dr. Ellie Staple in Glass.

Sarah Paulson plays dr. Ellie Staple in Glass.
Universal Pictures

Instead, it is frayed and limp. Pricing of comic tropics is no longer exciting and intriguing, but ridiculous, as if written by someone who has just read a few comic books and is pretty sure they know what it's about. At a crucial moment Price calls: "Ah, the classic move!" Another character who allegedly reads comics must explain the concept of a "showdown" as a scene in which the bad guys fight the good guys. [19659036] An Unavoidable Problem Glass Faces are the timing: The world of films in which Unbreakable was released in 2000 differed obviously and indisputably from Glass & Nbsp; 2019 Almost two decades later, the release calendar and box office are dominated by high-profile, high-profile films based on comic books. The audience knows that there is always a showdown. We know there are good and bad guys and a bunch of events. So what?

To be honest, Glass seems to be quite short and begins to offer a seemingly critical critique of the toxic fan culture on the Internet. There are a couple of YouTube-obsessed dudes randomly strangers making "Superman Punching," then uploading the material for Likes and being quickly sent by Dunn. Later, Paulson & # 39; s Dr. Staples made a brief speech that would have been deprived of criticism over comic conventions and those obsessed with them. In the end, the film suggests that fictional comic heroes prevent people from recognizing their own latent powers, and that there may be a conspiracy that keeps people in the ground and that the Internet this can help to change that?

I like this idea, but it's so embedded in other subplots that it's easily lost. And because this cinematic universe is about drawing comic tropics and archetypes into the real world, Glass succumbs to one of the biggest problems of Split .

Glass & # 39; s

biggest mistake reflects a problem many comic movies have. That's very ironic.

What was disturbing Split was the suggestion that your trauma is your superpower – in a sense, it's people who have experienced terrible things (especially in childhood) for which they do best are suitable to survive in the world. Split revealed that Kevin Wendell Crumb was maltreated by his mother and his personality developed to help him survive. Casey survived the attack of Crumb's violent, violent personality, The Beast, for being abused by her father. The survival of the beast gave her the strength to escape captivity.

This concept continues in Glass in which Dunn and Price's own traumatic experiences lead to explaining who they are – and in fact that's something to which Dr. Staples gets involved in the treatment. It's also consistent with comic stories that often create heroes' lineage stories around an unthinkable trauma from their teens, and the real reason why the movie is called Glass : It's Destroyed People (shaken) (like glass, you understand?) Who are really able to use their own inner strengths.

  Anya Taylor-Joy repeats her role as Casey from Split.

Anya Taylor-Joy repeats her role as Casey split .
Universal Pictures

But Glass introduces this idea to its natural end, in particular in interactions between Casey (return from split ) to play a key role in this film) and Crumb's figures. I'm not going to say what's going on, but it feels pretty wrong to assume that mistreated women are likely to be able to save their broken male captors from themselves if they're just friendly with them.

What ?!

To be fair, this seems to be less a message from the movie than the result that Shyamalan does not really think about his story. Glas is more concerned with compressing two storylines than his own, independently good ones. That is: Glass feels like a fan service trying too early to repeat the success, managing to unbreakable and split in retrospect to reduce.

It's a movie that's supposed to be interested in how comic stories work, but it has the same problems as many of the comic films that appear on the big screen these days. The big turn: Shyamalan does not seem to have learned much from his own films.

Glass opens in the theaters on January 18th.

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