Movie Review: Glass
The third installment in the franchise containing Unbreakable and Split hit theaters over the weekend. Rounding out this Eastrail 177 Trilogy, Glass was written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. The film follows Elijah Price, David Dunn, and Kevin Wendell Crumb as they are faced with the idea that they do not possess super-human abilities. The film sees the return of Samuel L. Jackson as Price, Bruce Willis as Dunn, and James McAvoy as Crumb. The film also sees the return of Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard, and introduces Sarah Paulson into this specific universe.
The film begins three weeks after the events of Split with Kevin Wendell Crumb/The Horde having kidnapped another group of teenage girls. David Dunn, with the help of his son, is using his superhuman abilities to protect people, and they are now actively looking for The Horde. When Dunn eventually bumps into Kevin as Hedwig on the street, he sees where the girls are being held. Dunn is able to free the girls but soon finds himself in a battle with Kevin’s strongest persona, The Beast. The two are captured by the police and are placed in a mental institution where Elijah Price, Dunn’s sworn enemy, is being held. Their new doctor, Dr. Ellie Staple, specializes in patients who claim to have superpowers, and she attempts to convince them that they do not possess the super abilities they all think they possess.
So, I have enjoyed several of M. Night Shyamalan’s films in the past, but I found Glass to be a little disappointing. Since it is a part of the same universe as Split and Unbreakable, I knew there would be some closure for all of the characters. However, I expected that the film would focus primarily on Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Elijah Price, and I did not find that to be the case. He is still a villain whose greatest strength is his mind, and while his plans factor heavily into the events of the film, I feel like Bruce Willis and James McAvoy received far more screen time. I will say that the film uses color in an interesting way, and I appreciated the way they used it to identify the individual characters and whether they are heroes or villains.
There were several issues that I had with this film, and one of those was the timeline between this story and Split. This film picks up three weeks after Split, which seems like an extremely short passage of time for Casey to have adjusted from her kidnapping and not have any lasting trauma. There are some weird connections between the loved ones of all three people containing super-human abilities and some weird reactions from them over events that occur. Perhaps my greatest problem with Glass, though, is the messy structure and the excruciatingly slow progress of the story. The first two acts came across as dull, and most of the events point toward what seems like a weird and forced showdown between Dunn and The Horde.
Overall, I think that Glass does not live up to the hype that was surrounding this final installment. I do not think the story is as strong as the previous two installments, and I think that for a movie named after Mr. Glass, he did not feature as prominently. I will say that there is an interesting commentary here on comic books, their structure, and the relationship between the heroes and the villains. I also think that there is a classic M. Night Shyamalan twist in the film that is pretty good, but it just cannot undo all of the excruciatingly slow moments in the first two acts. Glass is receiving pretty mixed reviews overall, but I do not think I can recommend this one for a watch in theaters.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.