Note: This is a spoiler-free Glass movie review
Before the screening of Glass began, a message from M. Night Shyamalan himself popped up on the screen. It said something to the effect of “Thank you for watching the film that is 19 years in the making. NO SPOILERS IN YOUR REVIEW!”
Nineteen years. So you know the anticipation is there. Is the final result worth the wait?
Glass is a treat for the M. Night Shyamalan fan. For the regular movie-goer, it drags a bit and asks as many questions as it answers.
First things first. To fully enjoy Glass you’ll want to have seen Unbreakable and Split. And if you’ve already seen Unbreakable and Split, you’ll want to watch them again before watching Glass. Shyamalan made some attempts to fill people in from stories past, but the full effort wasn’t there. Everything will just make more sense if you’ve seen the prequels.
That said, for fans of the first two films I would call the final chapter of this trilogy satisfying. Where David Dunn has his day in Unbreakable and The Beast breaks out in Split, Elijah Price finally gets his focus as the mastermind supervillain of Shyamalan’s comic book world.
The film is about all three characters, but Mr. Glass pulling the strings is what makes it thrilling and unpredictable. It’s not even necessarily the way Samuel L. Jackson brings the character to life, though he does put on one of his better performances in a long time. The way the plot develops is intricate and winding with multiple twists along the way.
I guess that’s how M. Night Shyamalan rolls, right? Tension and suspense and plot twist all the way through for two hours. This is where the Shyamalan fan will feel right at home with Glass. This one sits right up there with Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, and Devil in the plot twist department. There are multiple spine-chilling moments that keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
It’s also good to learn more about these main characters, who are as complex as the story. Each of these men is layered with an unsure past that is more human than superhuman in many ways. The character development intertwines with the story and it works for the most part.
A McAvoy Masterclass
While the film’s plot and story come from Mr. Glass, there is very little doubt where Glass‘s entertainment comes from. Much like Split, James McAvoy stands head and shoulders above the rest as a man with 10 personalities fighting for the light.
There are multiple scenes in the film where McAvoy is jumping from funny to creepy to terrifying quick as a flash. It’s a role that few actors can play, and he plays it exceptionally well.
Kevin Wendell Crumb and his hoard are what gets the biggest audience reaction in Glass. In fact, the character is used to snap the audience back and grab attention during and after the slower plot development scenes. It’s a solid mix without going overboard, and the best part of the film.
The unfortunate part of any comic book movie these days, whether it be Marvel or M. Night, is that there’s so much past story it’s tough to be able to enjoy a film on its own. Glass falls victim to this as well for a few reasons.
First, a few plotlines are confusing. The story jumps around a bit in melding these three stories into one and some things get lost. That includes a rather large one at the end of the film that went right over my head. I was left scrambling to put it together in the moment.
There are other scenes I would consider slow to develop, similar to Unbreakable. You can feel the tension build, and you know something is coming on the horizon, but it just doesn’t quite get there quick enough. The breakneck pace of certain scenes is a stark contrast to these scenes as well, which doesn’t help.
Should I see Glass?
This is a tricky one, in that I recommend seeing two films as a prerequisite to seeing this one. However, if you’ve seen those and you’re an M. Night Shyamalan fan Glass is well worth the watch to finish out the trilogy.
(Featured Image via Geek Tyrant)