Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Glass: Film Review

Glass: Film Review

Cast: Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, James McAvoy, Anya Taylor Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark
Director: M Night Shyamalan

There's a lot of pseudo-waffle in Glass; there's a lot of pontificating about what superheroes are, if they exist etc and there's a lot of labouring the points as this unexpected trilogy delivers its capper.
Glass: Film Review

Set merely a few weeks after Split ended, Bruce Willis' David Dunn, complete with trenchcoat, is on the heels of the Horde and their monstrous member the Beast (another ferocious turn by McAvoy), following a series of abductions.

But when both the Beast and Dunn are captured and imprisoned in a sanitarium run by Dr Ellie Staple (Paulson, in expositionary mode), they find themselves questioning if they are superheroes or freaks of a medical nature.

Things are further complicated when it's revealed that also staying at the hospital under duress is Samuel L Jackson's Elijah Price aka Mr Glass....
Glass: Film Review

Glass does not deliver what you'd expect, or perhaps what you'd hope for.

In some ways, that's a great thing, but it's also a stumbling block as the film lurches tonally between drama and psychobabble.

Once again McAvoy is resplendent in the role, bringing the physicality and ferocity of Split back to life as he pivots between characters with ease, imbuing the Horde with the subtleties of difference and the scale of screen grandeur that's needed.

Willis is muted, and almost sidelined in the film, adding a requisite level of tragedy to the tortured hero. And Jackson is, to be frank, solid but borderline annoying as he espouses meta-dialogue gifted him by Shyamalan, who's keen to labour each comic book point and make sure you don't miss a single one. Subtlety is not on show here, with exposition heavy scenes dulling the impact of what's gone prior.
Glass: Film Review

Shymalan goes the circuitous route in Glass, fiddling with expectations and wrongfooting you at every turn. He delivers comic book action in a different way, with fights happening from other perspectives rather than the smash and crash you're used to - it's not exactly bravura stuff, but it is notable that someone's trying something different with the genre in a saturated smash-em-up market.

There's creepiness aplenty, and while you may not be emotionally invested in the Glass-half-full-glass-half-empty characters on show, Glass delivers something akin to a muted crescendo of a trilogy ender.

It stymies itself in the asylum sequences and shuts down the excitement of the earlier scenes and also films (Unbreakable and Split) - but it does deliver something which proffers an occasionally more cerebral take on a genre that's now de rigeur.

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