The Cloud welcomes a new writer: Review of “Glass” by Robert Palmer Jan26


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The Cloud welcomes a new writer: Review of “Glass” by Robert Palmer

Warning: This article contains spoilers for “Unbreakable,” “Split”, and minor spoilers for “Glass.”

“Glass” has a strange existence. It is a sequel to M.Night Shyamalan’s previous movies “Split” in 2016 and “Unbreakable” in 2000, released 16 years apart, and is a collaboration between Universal and Disney who made the previous two films. The big twist ending of ”Split” was that it was a sequel to “Unbreakable.” This means the trilogy’s completion took 19 years for most of which nobody knew it was a trilogy. However, the film is as strange and confusing as the circumstances of its production.

The film begins with David Dunne (Bruce Willis), the protagonist of “Unbreakable,” encountering Kevin Crumb (James McEvoy), the antagonist of “Split,” on the street and using his powers of seeing visions of others, tracks him to a warehouse where Kevin has kidnapped a group of teenagers. Kevin has 24 separate personalities, known as the Horde, and one of them, The Beast, possesses superhuman strength. David and Kevin fight only to be taken into custody by a mental asylum once they are found.  The asylum also has in its care David’s nemesis, Elijah Price (Samuel Jackson), also known as Mr. Glass. Glass has brittle bones but has superior mental capabilities. The lead psychiatrist aims to prove that people with superhuman abilities are simply traumatised people with a medical condition.

Remarkably, the titular character doesn’t appear until around half an hour into the movie and doesn’t get a line of dialogue until the hour mark has passed. Still, he steals the show in most of his scenes and where he doesn’t Kevin’s personalities take the spotlight. The way McAvoy can change his body language and accent in a single scene ranging from a nine-year-old boy to a polite mother to a teenage girl to the feral Beast is spectacular. The cunning plan by Glass is also one of the highlights and is a joy to watch unfold. The music is only present when necessary and drastically improves the atmosphere of a scene.

This is where I stop singing this movie’s praises. The side characters in this movie don’t get much room to grow and all the characters introduced in this movie exhibit stiff acting or dialogue that is painful to witness. In particular, Casey, the returning protagonist of “Split,” is reduced from a smart character that escapes from the clutches of the Beast to a mere plot device that only serves to calm him down and also seems to have developed a sort of Stockholm Syndrome which I found disturbing. The pacing fluctuates between relatively fast to a snail’s pace, especially in the second act, where it also seems that David disappears for what feels like a long time. This is slightly redeemed by Mr. Glass and the Horde, who are simply more interesting characters. There are also many, many coincidences that only exist to advance the story, such as: why there are only around 3 security guards in the area where the three most powerful men in the world are being held? Why do all the main characters just so happen to be in the same location at the climax of the movie without contacting each other or some not even knowing each other?

Now, the ending. Let me just say that Shyamalan’s trademark ending twists appear here in full force. One of them makes some sense in the story and the barrage of twist after twist and false ending after false ending made me wish for the end. David also had the table scraps of what seemed like a character arc but it was concluded simultaneously in the worst and funniest way possible. The grand conclusion to the heroics that appears in all three movies involves a puddle. I am not even joking.

The last scene had some potential but went in the complete opposite direction of what I think should have happened. It made me laugh, which was obviously not supposed to happen, and suggests more to come from this series. Considering the bad taste this disappointment of a movie left in my mouth, I think I have lost all interest. However, early audience impressions seem to be positive while critics have the opposite reaction. You could say that this movie has a “Split” reaction. The previous illusion of a new “Unbreakable” franchise has been shattered like “Glass.” You could say that this movie made me feel like the glass was half empty. That’s the twist of this review, you see, and this is now my chance to tell horrible puns that don’t land. You know what else doesn’t land? The conclusion to this franchise.

I will see myself out.

My score is “Split” down the middle: 5/10.