The first blockbuster of 2019 is bound to continue to split audiences and shatter the unbreakable notion of a grand end to an unlikely trilogy.
“Glass” is the new M. Night Shyamalan directed superhero thriller which serves as the final entry in the “Unbreakable” series of films. The film centers around Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), three opposing forces who are captured and cooped up in a mental hospital with Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who is trying to convince them they do not have super powers.
The most talked about aspect of the film so far is the ending. It is divisive, it is unexpected and it is bound to leave many viewers dissatisfied. The ending is contributing to the 38 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it is largely due to the way the film was marketed.
The first film in the trilogy “Unbreakable,” was an understated slow burn drama/thriller, “Split,” was an unexpected self-contained thriller and “Glass,” was marketed to be a superhero showdown featuring these iconic characters. However, flash forward to the actual film Shyamalan delivered and audiences were gifted another slow burn ponderous drama/thriller. Mixed with an ending that will leave many people frustrated and let down, the movie seems to be suffering due to expectations not being effectively communicated.
After you separate yourself from what you wanted the film to be and accept it for what it is, “Glass” is a movie with a lot to love.
McAvoy delivers a standout performance as Crumb, essentially stealing every scene he is in. Portraying a character with multiple personality disorder, McAvoy is able to switch performance styles on a dime convincingly enough to ignore the fact it seems there are scenes crafted with the sole purpose of displaying McAvoy’s talents.
And while Willis and Jackson are not nearly as present in the film as the marketing material would have you believe, both veteran actors deliver solid performances which add to the legend of the characters they made famous almost two decades ago.
However, where the film struggles is in the pacing. For the first 15-20 minutes of the movie, it is a high energy action film. But after the main characters are imprisoned the film comes to a sudden and long halt. For the next hour little advancement is made in terms of plot and character developments, which caused me to check my watch once in the theater. The film then picks up again in the last 15 minutes, jarring the audience back awake.
Another glaring issue with “Glass,” is the endless amounts of plot holes. Throughout the just-over-two-hour runtime, the characters don’t receive arcs and some randomly adopt character traits that weren’t apparent they possessed in earlier entries in the trilogy. While this is frustrating, the movie manages to entertain and satisfy in a few ways.
“Glass,” is beautifully shot. Every scene is dripping with interesting angles, lighting choices and varied colors, which even when the film spins its wheels it does so in a visually interesting way. Even a simple shot of the three leads sitting in a room is elevated with an eye catching pink color pallet, clearly showing why the scene was so heavily featured in the film’s first trailer.
The enjoyment of this movie all comes down to whether you like how the story concluded and if you are satisfied with the character’s developments over the three films. “Glass” was marketed incorrectly, it is slow for most of the runtime and the ending will leave many with an empty feeling. But if you’re a fan of ponderous themes, great cinematography and strong performances, you will enjoy this film even if it doesn’t leave you floored.
My final rating for “Glass” is a 6.5/10.