Is Glass a Cut Above the Rest?

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Glass is the final chapter in the ‘Eastrail 177’ trilogy where David Dunn, Kevin Wendell Crumb and Elijah Price are held up in a mental institution led by Dr Ellie Staple, who is intent on convincing them that they are not who they think they are.

There has been a magniloquent amount of excitement surrounding Glass, considering the preceding two chapters. Unbreakable and Split are two fantastically subversive flicks. I love both of them. The former for its daringly pensive take on the comic book medium, the latter for a phenomenally engaging character and its cheer-worthy twist tying both movies together.

Glass sees the culmination of Unbreakable and Split in an entry so sporadic, so divisive, so mixed to the brim with pros and cons that I myself eventually walked out feeling accurately split down the middle. Did I like this movie? Did I dislike this movie? I really do not have a definitive answer.

The acting across the board is strong, the first 20-30 minutes is absolutely fantastic and feels like an organic continuation and the middle portion bravely plays with the idea that maybe David, Kevin and Elijah aren’t who they think they are. What if it’s just one elaborate illusion that can’t elude reality thanks to some faulty details?

I found Kevin’s reaction to this concept incredibly effective and I really felt something for the characters there. I liked that aspect of it in how the movie successfully distinguishes itself from the antecedent two.

That being said, the second act is quite slow, it’s very repetitive and some of the explicit exposition can feel a bit chafing. The third act also makes some decisions that are either underdeveloped or just downright disrespectful to what’s come before, I completely understood what Shyamalan was going for.

But the fate of one specific character did leave me feeling a bit alienated. The story structure feels too crammed in the last half an hour because there are at least three twists taking place adjacent to one and other and it’s so congestive and so clogged to the ears with information that it becomes way too overwhelming on the first viewing. Maybe a second viewing will change that but on the first go-around there’s a lot to digest.

Bruce Willis gives his most invested performance since Looper, but David Dunn’s character in this movie feels so paper thin. The way he’s written feels like a remnant of how Shyamalan remembered him from ‘nbreakable and I was disappointed with the lack of treatment for him.

Glass is not a bad film, but it’s also not great. This movie has me split so far down the middle. I feel like I enjoyed this movie more than I did but I’ll have to watch it again. As it is for now, it’s alright. An interesting end to the trilogy.

Written by Seán Mac G.

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