Review: M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass Starts Off Strong, But Fails To Connect

After just returning home from the theater and sitting with our thoughts we can’t help but feel a bit robbed after much anticipation for M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film “Glass”. The film gets off to a strong start as we are re-introduced to fan-favorite characters from both 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s  “Split”, but later the film takes a turn that leaves us both baffled and bewildered. Overall, it just runs out of steam.

From “Unbreakable”, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from “Split” is James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within. Following the ending of “Split”, “Glass” finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman personality of The Beast in a series of dangerous encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men and their “creation”.

Ever since we got that tease at the end of “Split” fans were thrilled that we would finally be seeing the promised sequel to “Unbreakable”, however in the nineteen years that have taken place between the making of “Unbreakable” and “Glass” we feel that the finished product is kind of a letdown. There was the set-up and potential to do so much more and “Glass” just doesn’t make the cut. Especially for a film that was so long in the making, but then again maybe we just set our expectations too high.

One of the only things that saved “Glass” was yet another stellar performance from Jame McAvoy and his ability to flawlessly portray all of the various personalities that reside within Dissociative Identity Disorder patient Kevin Wendell Crumb. For the most part all we got from Samuel L. Jackson as Mr. Glass was some various eye twitching and mouth jerks for the entire first half of the film and some beginning action from Bruce Willis as David Dunn as our anti-hero before the rest of the film ends up just being the three men sitting in a room being questioned and lectured by Dr. Ellie Staple, played by Sarah Paulson.

Willis is underused and so is Samuel L. Jackson and it’s not really clear what purpose Anya Taylor-Joy’s Casey Cooke, Spencer Treat Clark as Joe, Dunn’s son or Charlayne Woodard’s Mrs. Price really bring to the film, as their characters have zero-depth and really don’t fit into the plot.

It was definitely apparent that Mr. Glass had some plans up his sleeve about mid-way through the film, however, what came out, in the end, was a jumbled message about the true existence of superheroes and a bunch of unanswered questions. The message of this film became lost. Everyone knows that Shyamalan loves a good plot twist, in fact, it has become a staple in nearly all of his films, but with “Glass” it did not twist in a good way. It was completely frustrating, made no sense and left a ton of unanswered questions.

At first “Glass” appeared to have a story, but then it somehow got lost along the way. The tension that was built up in the beginning as Dunn was chasing after Crumb and his eventual reconnection with Mr. Glass but then halted when the three are brought together by Dr. Staple and accused of imagining their superpowers when we all know that this just isn’t the truth.  It should have been so obvious!

Of course, we learn that Dr. Staple is holding some secrets herself, and while we don’t want to give too much away, let’s just say that her plotline could have further fleshed out and it certainly wouldn’t have left us with so many questions about just what the heck is going on in this film. Shyamalan also tries to comment on the use of social media and the viral news cycle, but even that point ends up being lost as we still attempt to process the events that unfolded in the last ten to fifteen minutes of the film. Let’s just say we were disappointed.

The “Glass” is definitely half-empty on this one Shyamalan! Such a shame after a nineteen-year wait!

 

 

 

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