This, the final part of M Night Shyamalan’s trilogy that started in 2000 with “Unbreakable”, and continued with “Split”, is a welcome reprieve from the traditional comic book stories we’ve been getting lately. It breaks down the superhero myths and tropes, and asks the question of whether or not superhuman abilities are just that, or are the people that carry them out merely fooling themselves.
“Glass” picks up not long following the events of “Split”, where the Beast (James McAvoy) has struck numerous times since, but on his trail we have David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and his son (Spencer Treat Clark, also reprising his role from “Unbreakable”). David is using his abilities to track down a group of abducted girls being held hostage by the Beast. Through a series of events, the two men end up in a psychiatric institute where they encounter Dunn’s nemesis from the first film, Elijah Price AKA Mr. Glass. Price has other ideas for his two new inmates, and these events set the three men on a collision course. Along the way, we meet a new character in the form of Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychiatrist who specialises in the study of people who believe they are superhuman, as well as the returning Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), one of the survivors from “Split”.
While his output since “Unbreakable” has been mixed, at best, “Glass” proves to be a worthy follow up to the previous two films in the series, and makes for a great closer to the trilogy. He has always had an excellent eye behind the camera, even if the end product doesn’t always reflect that, but this might just be his best work to date. He gives each character a distinctive colour palette, and the Philadelphia setting gives the film a different flavour, not to mention different landmarks to look at.
Shyamalan is also helped by his stellar cast who all give some excellent performances. McAvoy reprises multiple roles as he did in “Split” and it is incredible to watch him switch from one character to the next. Samuel L Jackson once again puts in a great turn as the maniacal Mr. Glass, and keeps you guessing as to just what he’s going to do next. The biggest worry for me was Bruce Willis, who hasn’t maintained the strongest track record in the last number of years, but he is fully engaged in this film and easily reverts back to the strong, silent hero that we saw in “Unbreakable”.
“Glass” is a very different type of superhero movie, with much smaller stakes. The fate of the world isn’t on the line here, but rather the mental state of the three main characters. If you’re a fan of “Unbreakable” and “Split” you should also keep your eyes and ears open for various visual and musical cues along the way. All this adds up to a film being a really enjoyable psychological thriller, with some classic Shyamalan twists and turns along the way.
These are the heroic and gifted words of our man Kevin Dillon, @kevinwritestuff
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