Review: Glass

Glass is M. Knight Shyamalan’s follow up to his 2016 surprise hit Split, and the end of a story arc that began in 2000 with Unbreakable.

19 years after the events in Unbreakable, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is patrolling the streets with the help of his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) in search of a killer. The search leads Dunn to an abandoned factory where The Horde (James McAvoy) is holding a group of cheerleaders hostage. When Dunn goes to rescue the girls, he encounters one of The Horde’s many personalities known as “The Beast”. The fight leads to them both being captured and sent to a mental institution. At the institution, the men are being treated by Ellie (Sarah Paulson) who works with patients that believe they have special powers.

To Dunn’s surprise, the dangerous mastermind Elijah aka Mr. Glass (Samuel L Jackson) is also a patient at the hospital. Ellie is planning an invasive procedure for all three men that will remove something from their brain, while Glass is planning to escape with a little help from The Beast. Dunn is the only person with the abilities to stop The Horde and Mr. Glass from escaping and wrecking havoc on Philadelphia.

Glass is the tale of three movies: The first movie takes place during the first 20 minutes and it’s fun, interesting, and engaging. It’s the kind of opening that grabs audiences right away. The second movie starts once the film transitions into the hospital. It’s a slow methodical movie that moves a snail’s pace. This is the time where people look down at their watches to see just how long it’s been. The final movie is the bonkers third act that’s more interested in throwing curve balls than telling a compelling story. It’s the famous M. Night twist and this time he twisted the story off a cliff.

All the goodwill M. Night earned with Split gets scorched in 2hr and 9 min. Glass is an uneven, poorly paced, pseudo intellectual horror/thriller that’s as uninteresting as it is unimaginative. The third act is packed with so many bizarre choices and head scratching moments. The most jarring of them all is the dialogue about comic books. Characters wax poetically about comics to make the film sound smarter than it actually is.

Sadly, James McAvoy’s fantastic performance as The Horde’s 23 different personalities will be lost in the dumpster fire ending. McAvoy can be hilarious as Hedwig one minute and absolutely terrifying as The Beast one minute later. He gives an incredible performance that will make audiences want to see more of McAvoy on screen.

Glass is a well directed and well acted film.  It’s a competent enough film for most of the runtime that it comes across as somewhat interesting.  As interesting as those moments are, the final 20 minutes are so anticlimactic the rest of the film feels pointless. The choices characters make during the finale are sloppy and unnecessary. There was hope that M. Night found his magic again, unfortunately Glass is a M. Night’s return to bad form.

Grade: C-