Glass Review

Glass Poster

After a long, long, long string of bad films, M. Night Shyamalan has finally found his groove once again with his past two films, The Visit, and Split. The latter surprised audiences with a surprise ending that were 19-years in the making. Unbeknownst to everyone, Split is actually the second film in Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy. With Shyamalan’s recent string of good films and Split’s connection to Unbreakable, anticipation is high for Shyamalan’s next film, Glass. But does Glass continue Shyamalan’s hot streak or does he fall back into the dumps once again?

Unfortunately, the film is a terrible disappointment. Since Unbreakable and Split were both amazing, it only enhances the disappointment of Glass.

Glass follows David Dunn as he tries to track down the deranged serial killer, Kevin Wendell Crumb. But as he confronts Kevin, the both of them are captured and brought into a psychiatric ward where they meet Dr. Ellie Staple. Little do they know that the nefarious Elijah Price is at the ward as well… Now, they brought him everything that he needs to execute his master plan.

Glass - Bruce Willis

Both Unbreakable and Split were phenomenal films that had strong characters and a simple but effective storyline. Yet Glass is essentially a tale of two different films. The first two acts of the film grab you from the very start. Like The Avengers, the main appeal of Glass is seeing all these characters appear on screen at the same time. However, unlike The Avengers, this film isn’t the kind of action extravaganza as other superhero films. Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy has always been rooted in reality and Glass is no different.

The film moves at a snail’s pace which gives these characters time to interact with each other. The entire psychiatry aspect of the film is a bit off-putting. At the same time, it fits with the connecting theme that Shyamalan has set with the other two films. It’s just a shame that Mr. Glass is set aside for half the film. But once Mr. Glass finally shows his true motive, it seems as if the film is barreling towards an epic conclusion. After all, as you’ve probably seen with the past two films, Shyamalan builds tension and hype and has a satisfying conclusion.

Unfortunately, that satisfying conclusion never happens. The problem with M. Night Shyamalan is that his high concept ideas never really pan out. His simpler films, such as The Sixth Sense, The Visit, Unbreakable, and Split, are fantastic because his strengths are engaging audiences with a gripping storyline. Yet once Shyamalan tries to add something complex to a storyline, the films become a jumbled and pretentious mess. That’s exactly what happens in Glass.

Glass - Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy

The third act seemingly devolves into a chaotic mess. The grand ideas built upon the past two films begin to fall under its own massive weight. How did it everything go so wrong? First of all, the third act is full of basic comic book exposition by Mr. Glass. Sure, this is who the character is but when the lines are so idiotic, it becomes cringe-worthy. In other words, the dialogue is like Comic Book for Dummies.

But the biggest culprit is essentially the reason why all of Shyamalan’s films end up so bad: the payoff and twist of the film. The resolution of everyone’s stories just leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. Not to mention, the twist descends the film down even further into the pits. We won’t say what it is but we’ll just say there’s no explanation of it whatsoever in any of the other films. It basically just comes out of nowhere.

Once again, James McAvoy is absolutely amazing in Glass. This role is so dynamic and yet, McAvoy is able to effortlessly shift between all of Crumb’s personalities. Samuel L. Jackson’s performance is awfully menacing but he doesn’t really show this side until well into the film. Much like his performance in Unbreakable, Bruce Willis’ performance is detached in Glass. He doesn’t really truly show any personality until he’s with his son.

Sarah Paulson is intriguing in the role of the trio’s psychiatrist. She’s tantalizing in the way that her character just goes about her business in the film. That may be vague but it’ll all make sense when you watch the film.

Overall, Glass is a disappointing conclusion to an excellent trilogy. The film introduces some high concept ideas that crumble under the massive weight of the previous films. Kudos to Shyamalan for trying something new but the ultimately, it falls under the same traps that sank his rotten films. It’s simply just a shame.

Rating: 2/5 atoms

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