19 years after Unbreakable and a year after Split, M. Night Shyamalan is back at it again to bring the two universes together. Glass does a fantastic job at intertwining both films while diving deep into a totally new adventure at the exact same time. The film also completely shatters the archetype of superhero movies and then picks up the pieces to bring it all together in an ending that you could never have seen coming.
However, the film was still a little disappointing. The pace of the story started very slow and then sped up during the moments that everyone was waiting for. It simply took too long to start and then wrapped up way too quickly. Also, while the acting was on point for most of the characters, there was one weak link that left a third of the story lagging and drew away from some of the emotional impact of the film.
So, if you’re ready to shatter the glass and explore the depths of the human mind, here is my complete review of Glass.
19 years after David Dunn discovered he’s a superhero living the life of a comic book, the government arrives to erase it all. Dr. Ellie Staple has made it her life’s work to find ordinary humans with extraordinary thoughts of being superheroes and has therefore captured the extremely breakable Mr. Glass, the unbreakable David Dunn, and the defender of the broken, Kevin Wendell Crumb. Together, they must either accept Dr. Ellie’s psychological diagnosis or fight back to show the world what humans are truly capable of.
Now, just like any M. Night Shyamalan film, Glass was full of twists and turns. However, it seemed like the twists came a little too late and the turns were cut a little too short. Like Unbreakable, most of the film’s runtime was spend building up the story, emphasizing the characters’ situations, and simply talking rather than resolving any issues or featuring any action. This made the ending seem extremely abrupt and cut off. If we had just spent ten more minutes in the final moments of the film rather than dragging out the situation, the film would’ve felt fuller and the audience would’ve left the theater more satisfied.
That being said, the storyline was still pretty interesting. It really made you think and place yourself in the shoes of the superhero patients. It also explored more of the character’s pasts and worked very well to connect the previous two films as well as each one of the superpowered humans. The story was even littered with just enough humor to keep you entertained, the perfect amount of mystery to keep you guessing, and the right level of psychology to keep you invested in the characters.
Then, at the end of the film, you get the iconic M. Night Shyamalan boom. The story explodes into a million pieces and then all the shattered pieces come back together in a well-organized ending. Besides being extremely rushed, the ending was the perfect finale to the trilogy and certainly gave you something you didn’t see coming.
Since there was very little action, the film focused very heavily on the development of the characters and their acting skills. The main characters were clearly Elijah Price (Mr. Glass), David Dunn (The Overseer), and Kevin Wendell Crumb (The Beast) and we explored most of them in great depth. Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy were perfectly cast for their role and delivered breathtaking performances that took us into each of the character’s psyche. Jackson was the perfect calculating villain whose acting and personality seemed to carry the film’s story and McAvoy seamlessly portrayed 24 personalities back-to-back with ease.
Bruce Willis, on the other hand, seemed to be either asleep or in timeout for the entire film. He portrayed the same expressionless personality throughout every scene and ultimately looked like a sad, lost puppy for most of the movie. His character was also constantly pushed aside for the development of Mr. Glass and The Beast, and so we got to see very little of his responses and character arc.
Throughout the film, there were also minor characters that pushed the story along. Dr. Ellis Staple, the doctor that was tending to the mental psyche of the superheroes was played by American Horror Story’s Sarah Paulson, who seemed to act exactly as she does in the horror series. Then, there were three other characters that were kept in line with the main characters and their story arc: Dunn’s son Joseph, Glass’ mom Mrs. Price, and Crumb’s victim, Casey. During most of the film, these characters seemed like a distraction that stole away from the shining moments of the film. Then you learn that these characters were simply used as a necessary evil and a plot instrument to get Shyamalan to his glorious ending.
Like most M. Night Shyamalan films, Glass was all about the angles. While I’m not typically a fan of the spinning scenes and the upside-down vantage points, it seemed to work very well for this film. You got to see some scenes from different point of views and it helped to put you right in the shoes of the characters. It was a very interesting and unique way to make us feel more throughout the movie without forcing it upon us.
The colors in the film were also extremely interesting to watch. Throughout the film, each character is associated with certain colors. Dunn is associated with green for his life-giving properties, Crumb is given a mustard color for his association with monks and desire to help the Broken, and Price is connected to purple because of the color’s link to royalty and importance. These colors are seen around each character within each of the movie’s scenes and become more prevalent when the heroes believe in their own powers and duller when they start to accept Dr. Staple’s mental diagnosis. It provides a fun Easter egg in the film and also helps audiences to connect with the story visually.
Personally, I would rate Glass a 6/10. The film does great fan service for the people that fell in love with either Unbreakable or Glass and does very well to develop the characters further and tie the trilogy together. However, the film is definitely not for people expecting an action-packed superhero film. It is definitely more of a psychological thriller that explores the human mind, government conspiracies, and relationships. Therefore, there’s a lot more talking and thinking and a lot less action and hitting.