Saturday, November 27, 2021

Glass: A Pretentious Disappointment

Reel Reviews

Gifted with incredible strength and an unbreakable body, vigilante David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has taken it upon himself to track down the elusive kidnapper, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a mentally unstable and dangerous man with over twenty-four different personalities, including one powerful and deadly persona known only as ‘The Beast.’ While Dunn manages to locate and battle The Beast, their fight is cut short when both opponents are captured by authorities and locked away in a mental institution.  

Now under the care of Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), she hopes to cure them of their disillusions of being subhuman individuals, including her third patient, one who Dunn has a personal history with—Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), or Mr. Glass as he calls himself, Dunn’s former friend and archnemesis. Where Dr. Staple sees patients, however, Mr. Glass sees opportunity as he sets in motion a chain events that will lead to the final showdown between his old enemy and his newest ally, but most of all, show the world that extraordinary people like them exist; no matter how much bloodshed it leads to. 

Believe it or not, “Glass” is the third film in an unforeseen trilogy created by director M. Night Shyamalan. Some of you may have heard of his work in the famous Bruce Willis movie: “The Sixth Sense.” Some of you may also know him as the ‘Twist Man,’ given that every film he’s produced always has some big twist in it.  

20 years ago, back in 2000, Shyamalan released “Unbreakable, his second film to star Bruce Willis; and it was quite possibly his best one. The film told a more grounded and realistic superhero story that focused more on the journey about a man becoming a hero, rather than on action and explosions. The film was also sort of a homage to comic book heroes, and bear in mind, this was way before the first official Marvel Film was released. Then in 2016, Shyamalan made a comeback with his psychological thriller “Split, starring James McAvoy. The film was similar to “Unbreakable,” except this time we were following a villain’s journey. I would highly recommend both films to anyone who hasn’t seen them.  

Besides being groundbreaking and amazing stories, it was also revealed that “Split” took place in the same world as “Unbreakable.” Fans of the first two films could tell that a third film was coming, one that would feature the hero of “Unbreakable” having a showdown with the villain of “Split.” All in all, it sounded like a perfect idea and an exciting experience for allWhich is why it’s a shame that the third installment is such a massive disappointment. 

To be fair, the film starts out strong and promising, but once it reaches the second act, the whole movie falls apart. Way too much screen time is taken up by Sarah Paulson’s character. One would assume she would just be a minor character in the overall plot, but instead, she comes off as a third antagonist. I’m sorry, but the film is called “Glass,” not “Game of Thrones.” We don’t need numerous antagonists in one story—Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy were all we needed. In fact, the scenes where our main three subnormal characters are interacting are probably the highlights of the movie, but there wasn’t enough of it. 

Which brings me to the next problem I have with this movie. I rarely use this word to describe someone’s work, but I feel it needs to be said: Pretentious. I believe that M. Night Shyamalan has talent, but the issue I have with his recent work is he tries way too hard to show off in an attempt to be ‘unique.’ It’s especially noticeable in “Glass” by the severe amount of closeups and scenes of characters just staring into the camera. Now, closeups can work when done astutely, just look at films like “Silence of the Lambs” or “Apocalypse Now,” but the difference is those films used this form of filmmaking sparingly, whereas “Glass” is oversaturated with it! 

The worst part of this whole movie, however, is the plot twist. I can’t say much because of my rule against spoilers, but the twist in this movie just raises more questions than it answers, and not in a good way because “Glass” is supposed to be a conclusion. And all I can say about the conclusion is that it left me bitter instead of satisfied.  

“Glass” is rated PG-13 for violence, including some bloody images, thematic elements, and languageWhat hurts the most is this film could have been so much greater. I can picture how the story should have gone in my head and it’s so simple. You can tell a strong and emotional story, without having to resort to twists or shoehorned in sidestories. If the characters are interesting, and the plot is strong, all that’s left is to let the narrative unfold for the audience. Unfortunately, that’s not what we got, which is why the final score for “Glass” is a disappointing 5 out of 10. 

Matthew Mendisana is a Lynn University alumnus. While he possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, it’s the arts that attracted his attention. He currently serves as a Journalist and Copy Editor to the Coastal Breeze News and is working on becoming a Published Author. 


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