The glass is shattered.
Synopsis: M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: Glass. Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men. (Universal Pictures)
Starring: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson
Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 129mins
The conclusion of an usual trilogy, Glass puts the characters from Unbreakable and Split together for the first time. Now how could that work considering Unbreakable and Split are much different films from one another? The answer to that question is not good and could be described as putting two round pegs in square holes. This was where the film began and ended. In trying to cater to these characters, it does a great disservice to each of them. The story this time around, forgets what made the previous two films in the series so great in trying to tell a contrived and ridiculous story that was not only dull to watch but also a frustrating one as it attempts to tie the characters together. The 19 year time gap since Unbreakable didn’t exactly help either.
After having watched the film, the above synopsis wasn’t the most accurate. As mentioned, David Dunn (Willis) and Elijah Price (Jackson) from Unbreakable along with Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) and Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) from Split are all back in a film that will leave you waiting for something to happen but never does. Since the events of Unbreakable, Dunn and his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) have become a makeshift vigilante team patrolling the streets of Philadelphia, eventually running into Crumb. This was kind of fun to watch so of course the film didn’t stay there all that long.
Now as most of the trailers have given away, the three men would find themselves imprisoned together in a mental hospital under the care of a psychiatrist named Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) who specialized in patients suffering from the delusion that they were superheroes. Beyond a few interactions between the three different personalities, this pretty much went the way one would expect. Because of that, this section of the film was incredibly dull to watch as it absolutely went nowhere and absolutely nothing happened for the most part which was disappointing. Once something would happen as the three men obviously cannot be contained forever, it was simply hard to care as it was too little, too late but even that was disappointing. Meanwhile, the end will leave you bashing your head against a wall.
Dunn, Price, and Crumb may have been interesting characters going into this film, they are all wasted here as the characters are all handcuffed by the dull story that amounted to almost nothing while failing to utilize each of them in a satisfying enough way. The film may have featured a few fight scenes between Dunn and Crumb but the weird cinematography made them almost unwatchable. Also while Unbreakable had some unique camera angles, this film went too far in the wrong direction in that regard. Ultimately, incorporating all these characters and their stories together made for a tonal mess that was tough to overcome. Though this gave us more of a backstory for each of them, again, it was hard to care about any of it as it added very little to the story as a whole.
While McAvoy, Willis, and Jackson were good here as Crumb, Dunn, and Price respectively, it almost didn’t matter. The three were handcuffed by a mediocre script that failed to fully utilize their many talents. It was kind of sad to watch them here. McAvoy can still play all the different identities, pulling out some new ones here, but it didn’t amount to anything. Willis was more of a passenger this time around and was almost nonexistent here. However, Jackson still has plenty of charisma and he used to it breathe some life into the film. He was the best of the three though somehow has the least screen time of the three. Despite being an unnecessary character, Paulson’s Dr. Ellie Staple was still okay.
Overall, Glass is a ridiculously dull and contrived mess of ideas that could never quite fit together while forgetting what made the two films that preceded it great. McAvoy, Willis, and Jackson were good but they were handcuffed by a mediocre script and weird cinematography. Definitely a sad end to what has been a pretty good trilogy.