Blake is a Senior and this is his second year in Journalism. He is the editor of The Fluco Beat. He likes to play video games and likes memes.
Glass Cracks Expectations
February 1, 2019
You’re probably wondering why the title of this review of Glass has the words “cracks expectations.” Isn’t the phrase “shatters expectations?”
Normally, that would be the case. But Glass is no normal movie,
Glass is the final movie in trilogy, directed by M. Night Shyamalan, which is his take on a superhero series. The previous movies, Unbreakable and Split, which came out in 2000 and 2016, respectively, create a loose connection to each other with Glass solidifying and unifying the pair.
An overarching theme throughout the past two films is humans having superhuman qualities. Unbreakable features David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, who gained superhuman strength and the ability to see someone’s crimes just by touching them after being the sole survivor in a freak train accident. On the other side, Split features Kevin Wendell Crumb, played by James McAvoy, who has an intense form of multiple personality disorder that encompasses 24 different minds in one head…and a dangerous beast on the inside.
These two characters are accompanied by Mr. Glass, played by Samuel Jackson, a mastermind with paper-thin bones. He first appeared in Unbreakable, but has much larger ties to the two aforementioned super humans than one might originally think.
Now that you’ve got a little backstory, let’s get into the main feature: Glass
Glass manages to create a really interesting and complex narrative that slowly weaves together, forming a great story with some shocking twists and turns. But at the same time, certain themes are spoon-fed and heavy-handedly coupled with a fairly random ending that is literally resolved in mere seconds.
Glass might have some qualities that make it a pristine mirror of a movie, but it’s a flawed mirror with some cracks in its splendor.
The film has Sarah Paulson in the lead as Dr. Ellie Staple, a super human psychologist who specializes in helping people understand that their “super human” qualities are actually just a cause of how their brain works. David Dunn gains the vigilante name of “The Overseer,” while Kevin and his personalities gain the name of “The Horde.” These two come into the custody of Dr. Staple at a mental asylum. Dr. Staple’s attempts–to prove that their super abilities are false–fall flat when Mr. Glass (who ends up in the same mental institution) gets his hands on this pair of super humans.
Let’s start with the good. First of all, Glass brings back the entire cast from the prior films. From David Dunn’s son, Joseph (played by a grown up Spencer Clark), to the very person kidnapped by Kevin in Split, Casey Cooke (played by Anya Taylor-Joy).
With such famed actors, you can expect the highest quality acting, and they do indeed deliver. I have never once been disappointed by the quality of Samuel Jackson, who portrays Mr. Glass flawlessly. I was highly impressed by the ease with which McAvoy switches personalities, especially with the range of voices he has in his arsenal for each and every person in the character’s head. And, of course, Sarah Paulson does a stellar job in her role as a psychiatrist.
Now, let’s delve into those cracks in the film.
Oh boy. This movie really wants you to know it’s about superheroes to the point where you feel pummeled by that message. Not only are comic books consistently referenced throughout the film, but characters go to comic book stores on at least two, if not three, separate occasions. Mr. Glass speaks in what I’ve began to call “comic book talk,” referring to “special editions” and “heroes’ and villains’ final confrontations” over and over at the climax at the film.
Alright, already. We get it.
The superhero/comic book references really get repetitive, especially since before Glass, I never considered Split or Unbreakable to be superhero movies. It just seems like Shyamalan suddenly wanted to jump on the superhero bandwagon after the success of Marvel and DC movies.
In addition, the ending is just unnecessary. A “shocking” twist is revealed at the end, which is supposed to make the audience gasp in surprise. But not a single thing about the reveal is shocking.
On top of that, we’re made to believe that Mr. Glass had a masterful plan all along that completely retconned or retroactively revised, the importance of this final sequence. Sorry, too contrived for me.
Despite these flaws, Glass’ complex story wraps the viewer in, bringing the trilogy to a solid, albeit flawed, conclusion. Although it has some major cracks in an otherwise solid plot, it still managed to keep my attention, and surprised me a number of times.
I give Glass a solid 7.8/10 super humans, and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a nice mystery (as long as you don’t look too hard).