When reviewing a film like M. Night Shyamalan’s (The Sixth Sense, The Village) there should be different parameters. Sometimes you just have to let go of whether a film is good or not. You just have to settle on if it is watchable or not. The answer to that is yes. Because of that this is a successful film.
In 2000 when he was still a hot number in Hollywood, Shyamalan directed an intriguing film called Unbreakable. It earned him fans and he said it was the first film of a planned trilogy. Because his subsequent films were almost universally panned, his shine faded. This led to it beging 17 years in between the first and second film of the series. Split came out in 2017. While it wasn’t earth shattering, it entertained enough to greenlight the final film in the trilogy. Now in 2019 we get Glass.
Glass brings all three together. It unites James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis from the films that came before. Joins the fantastic Sarah Paulson, who seems to be in everything creepy today, and the eerie Anya Taylor-Joy to them and the result is a film which you won’t regret seeing, but is not without its flaws.
In the vein of a tiger not being able to change its stripes, Shyamalan is who he is. Meaning as a screenwriter and director his films tend to go for things in a big way and as a result much of the time he overreaches. Goes too big. The result is often a mess with a muddled script. That being said, all is not bad here.
Glass starts off on a high note. It attempts to gather together all the loose strings and unite the previous stories into one cogent thing. Willis is back as David Dunn. He has the least to do of the three leads and at times it feels like he is upset about that. Just pretty much coasts through the film. On the other hand, Samuel L. Jackson revels in his character. Like he is having fun in a maniacal way. James McAvoy demonstrates that his turn as a character with over 20 personalities in Split was not a fluke. Once again he is great. Maybe even more so because he does not have to carry the film alone.
Then there is the way it looks. Which is great. Crisp and clear cinematography. Mike Gioulakis and Shyamalan have worked together a couple of times. They obviously dig one another. Each frame of the film is great with plenty of obvious care gone into setting up shots and attention paid to the way it looks.
Where it all goes wrong is the film’s unnecessary attacking of superhero films. You are not going to win fans with that approach. Yes, most will agree that a majority of the recent Marvel or DC films are bloated messes. That being said they have a ton of fans. People enjoy the turning off of the majority of their brains and just “watching”. Plus the fact that in regards to his knowledge about comic books and superheroes Shyamalan seems somewhat ignorant.
What has pissed many a film fan off about Shyamalan’s films have been his insistence on packing loads of twists into his films as well as their endings. Glass is no different. Twists galore. So many that you will be rolling your eyes aplenty. Then there is the ending. Another crazy open ended end with zero resolution. Not that everything has to be done up in a pretty bow, but…