GLASS offers a semi-lackluster end to this trilogy. Where we find M. Night Shyamalan stumbling moments before the finish line. A disappointment to say the least.
“Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.”
Before I dive into my GLASS review, the latest M. Nighy Shyamalan hero flick, which is the conclusion to his superhero world-building trilogy. Now when Unbreakable first came into our lives all the way in 2000 Shyamalan was still hot in the sheets. It wasn’t until much later when he started to falter and people noticed that he could be a very hit or miss director. It was a fantastic origin story in a world that was grounded but where the idea that superheroes could exist. That was it though, the story of David Dunn and Elijah Price was over, and no one had the faintest clue that 16 years later David Dunn would reappear in our lives. At the end of Split, the story about Kevin Wendall Crumb and his 24 different personalities, David Dunn was reintroduced back into our lives. That was the Shyamalan twist we have all come accustomed too. 16 years later, we got a -pseudo-sequel that rocked our lives and we found out that Shyamalan had secretly been building his own MCU.
The courage it must have taken that man, the leap of faith he was willing to take. 16 years later and he expects the viewers to not only accept this revelation but to enjoy it. That is so crazy and such an insane risk that you have to give the man some credit. Not only is it mind-blowing the whole twist, but it also makes you wonder how long he sat on this for? Split was a great movie on its own, but when the camera panned onto David Dunn sitting in that diner and it open pandora’s box, you realized just how special the whole movie is. Critics and fans alike love to dump on this man, but he has brought us all so many fantastic films, but I feel sometimes he is his own worst enemy. My biggest takeaway after watching GLASS last night is simple. If he had this grand scheme, this masterplan to turn Unbreakable into a trilogy, I just thought the ending would be pulled off with better execution. He was ahead of the competition in a mile race and fell flat on his face moments before the finish line. It just doesn’t make sense to me, after all the time between the first two movies, I just thought he truly had a special story he wanted to tell the world. He had so much time to prepare. Poor execution down the stretch, he let a big lead slip away, it’s almost terrible coaching at this point. This movie is going to divide movie fans for a long time, there will be so many think pieces written about it. GLASS isn’t a terrible movie, it’s being let down, not getting what you wanted, I guess? This isn’t his worst film, not even close, but this was number FIVE on my most anticipated list of 2019, and it will be lost in my memory in a few short weeks. I wanted so much more from this film, and he didn’t give it to me.
All three leads are great in their respected roles. Bruce Willis, Sam Jackson, and James McAvoy all bring their best stuff. It feels like GLASS is more of a Spilt sequel than an Unbreakable sequel. A ton of time is spent with finding out more about Kevin and his personalities, also the biggest reveal of the movie centers around Kevin and is “origin.” I was pretty locked in the first 20 minutes, spending the majority of the time with David Dunn and his son Joseph (Spencer Trent Clarke). Who reprises his role from Unbreakable which I thought was really cool. I wanted more of David being Batman and Joseph serving as his Alfred and hunting down criminal punks. Anya Taylor-Joy is back as the damaged girl next door Casey, who is trying to rid the beast from Kevin’s mind, and Charlayne Woodard is back as Mrs. Price. The lovely and very talented Sarah Paulson joins the cast as Dr. Staple who is trying her best to tell our three heroes that the world doesn’t have super-powered beings, but rather all of this is occurring in their minds. When we get introduced to Dr. Staple at Ravenhill Psychiatric Hospital that’s when the movie starts to lose its footing. Much like the two previous films, GLASS can be a slow burn at times, but just nothing was really happening, and when everything finally came together, the conclusion just fell apart completely. All this set-up and it just felt so unsatisfying.
In classic M. Night fashion there a few twists and turns along the way, none of which really took me by surprise or made me go “oh my god.” This was something I wanted to happen, just when they all hit you in the face, they were a letdown. I thought he would have planned this out better, but this is the story he wanted to tell us all and I respect him for that. I know audiences and people will be disappointed in this film. Some people are really going to love it, all the themes about superheroes and how the world views them and would treat them if they really did exist is an interesting concept to dive into. M. Night pours his heart and soul into his projects, his last three films have been self-funded. He cared so much about all three of these great characters and wanted to give them a proper ending. I just think he cared a little too much and it could have clouded his judgment. I won’t ever knock a film-maker for their decisions, but I can be upset that something didn’t meet my expectations or even come close.
GLASS is a really tricky film to score because I think if I stood on its own, the reception it was getting would be totally different. Being part of this much larger universe comes with all sorts of weight and expectations. When it’s all said and done, I don’t think this is the film people thought they would be getting. So you have to judge the film as a larger quantity than it actually is because it’s part of a much larger scope. I’m having a hard time deciding if I liked GLASS or I hated it. Maybe it’s a movie that needs multiple viewings. I love all the main characters and I wanted their stories fleshed out more, especially that of David Dunn. At the end of the day, I feel bad for M. Night, because I know he wanted this to be accepted by the masses, and I have a funny feeling after a great opening weekend, GLASS will struggle to make money. With it being financed by Shyamalan himself, he’s already looking a profit, I dunno, I just wanted to walk away being blown away and loving this movie. Such a tough movie to digest, because of the many themes and layers and trying to get through all of that. Will be without a doubt one of the most polarizing films of 2019, a line in the sand will be drawn and you will argue with people on the internet for weeks, or at least I will.
Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – GLASS = 66/100
7 thoughts on “‘GLASS’ Review”
Very much agreed. Though I think I’m leaning more toward the it was okay. Definitely a bit disappointing and the ending- I was surprised but also kind of a downer to introduce these extraordinary beings and you know do that and in almost a pedestrian manner in each case. Oh well. Not the worst thing in the world. Excellent performances. Just a let down.
I really enjoyed it as part of the larger picture and it was pretty much exactly what I thought it was going to be and almost exactly what I wanted it to be. I think as a stand alone film, it falters a bit because so much of it is reliant on knowledge from the previous two films. This is a film I think a lot of these big cumulative event films, like The Avengers films, suffer from but where I criticize some of those films for not providing me with a satisfying ending, Glass worked for me.
I was really impressed. I think people get hung up on the idea that the movie is meant to be meta-commentary on the rise of superhero movies, and the underlying appeal that makes the genre so widely successful, but if you stop looking for that insight and just enjoy the movie, it’s very well done. Unbreakable was made before that trend really took off, so I think Glass concludes the story in the same spirit it was begun, meditating on identity and reality in a story of what it would be like if superheros existed.
I’d much rather have a tough film to digest than yet another boardroom produced, assembly line created, completely inoffensive, appealing to all type flick.
Agree! And the more I thought about it. The more I actually loved Glass
Chris Stuckman did a great spoiler review on it where he basically said the same and applauded Shyamalan’s originality, which I wholly agree with.
Great review! Well-articulated.