Glass: A Dark Twist on Superheroes | Review

In 2019 M. Night Shyamalan returns with his third instalment of his ‘Unbreakable’ series. I went into Glass with quite high expectations as I really enjoyed both Unbreakable and Split so I hoped linking the two together would work for a third film. 

Glass picks up around three weeks from the ending of Split. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has been saving innocent bystanders under the publicly dubbed name ‘The Overseer’ with the help of his son. Elijah Price/Mr. Glass (Samuel L Jackson) is still in the institution he was committed to at the end of Unbreakable and Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) has embraced the ‘Horde’ and has continued his kidnap/murdering spree. During a confrontation between David and Kevin, they are both apprehended and institutionalised with Elijah, where Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) must convince them their beliefs of being supernatural beings are delusions. During their stay the three must come to face the reality that they could be ordinary men or perhaps they really could be the stuff of comic books.

For me James McAvoy really stole the show. He gets a lot of screen time to show off his different portrayals of the multiple personalities. I found his characters to have a lot more of a comedic presence than in Split which was an odd change but the jokes did land with the audience. I found that David Dunn lacked the same depth from his appearance in Unbreakable. It was hard to see what was really driving him through the story other than being given some small side stories about the years since we last saw him. I was much more interested in Elijah, who is shown now to be incredibly intelligent and a self proclaimed mastermind similar to super-villains in the comics he idolises. Amongst these performances we also have Sarah Paulson, a psychiatrist who, for an unclear reason, only has three days to convince the trio of their delusions. For a good portion of the film I wasn’t really sure what Shyamalan was setting up for. 

Glass had a nice balance of action and character driven plot but it forfeited the horror element that Split did well. Shyamalan chose to fully embrace the comic book theme in this instalment. As you can expect, there were some unexpected plot points and for me, one of the themes was introduced far too late into the film giving it very little time to develop and pay off. 

Glass does a good job of connecting the previous two films, keeping a lot of the themes and ideas, with some of the soundtracks making their way into key moments. The Super Hero theme takes centre stage and sacrifices some of the subtlety I enjoyed from Shyamalan’s previous two films. With that being said I don’t feel this is necessarily a negative if this is the film to conclude the series. You’d expect the finale to be big and bold but I also get the feeling this is setting the stage for more films in this universe he has created. While I am a big fan of Superhero movies, it’s a very oversaturated industry right now. I think Shyamalan created a strong finish for a series that should now be put to bed. 

Glass hits UK cinemas January 18th 2019.

Until next time

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