Cinemaster Score: 7/10
As known before, Unbreakable is one of the most underrated superhero movies out there. But Glass is one of the most underrated films in recent history. It’s positives greatly outweigh its negatives. Glass has amazing acting all around, a solid script with some strange references to its source material, and surprising depth for a “superhero movie”. Yes, many will be disappointed with the lack of huge CGI battles – but if that’s what you were looking for, you shouldn’t be watching this series of movies. Glass uses mystery and well-developed plot twists to keep you entertained, and centers itself on its characters. The film does deliver on its promise to close on these 3 individuals’ story lines, but maybe not in the way many envisioned. This movie may be bitter-sweet, but it wrapped up a 19-year-old trilogy in way no one ever really expected, and that’s fine all around.
Acting; The cast of M. Night Shyamalan’s finale to this heroic trilogy put on a great show. The returning members are fantastic. Bruce Willis has one of his best performances in the past decade as David Dunn. Samuel L. Jackson comes back as well for his role as the title-named character, Mr. Glass. The way Jackson acts is always entertaining but here he shines with his character’s darkness. The main 3 side characters are acted well, in a way to bring forth the perfect amount of emotion and apathy for their paralleled stars. Most importantly though, is James McAvoy. McAvoy reminds us all once again of how phenomenal of an actor he is in being Kevin Wendell Crumb. McAvoy steals the spotlight during his performance, proving his skillful range once again in Glass.
Script; Glass is well written for the most part, but does have some strange moments in it. For instance instead of subtly referencing comic books and their stories, Glass uses comic books as a major crutch for its script. They often cite directly from superhero comics, and it is a little forced compared to the less spoon fed parts of the film. While James McAvoy’s character does evolve throughout the film, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis stay rather static in their roles. It doesn’t have the sharp writing of Split, but it is still put to great use – even if it is a little simpler than its predecessor.
Characters; Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) does go through an interesting number of changes in Glass, and solidified himself as a truly multilayered memorable character. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), while still as intriguing as he was in Unbreakable, doesn’t go through as dramatic a change as Kevin. This is not to say his character wasn’t pivotal,or likeable, but it was a little unrealistic – in Shyamalan’s world formerly filled to the brim with realism – how little the events around him affected him. The same goes for David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who isn’t as emotionally relatable as he was in Unbreakable. He still is the underdog “superhero” we want to win, but nothing more, usually. As for the supporting cast, they do play very key roles in the main characters lives, and greatly affect the series’ mythology. But overall the character development is solid throughout.
Direction; M. Night Shyamalan directed Glass as his multi-decade trilogy’s finale. While it isn’t terrible, Glass isn’t phenomenal either. Shyamalan is able to include the character study that made Unbreakable great as well as the action from Split. Individually these scenes are fun to watch but altogether make the film’s tone feel a little shaky. Shyamalan tries to use a different, first person shot. Sure, the angle is cool the first few times you see it but eventually (after over half a dozen of these shots) it feels overused and unnecessary. It also felt as if Shyamalan was far too determined to wrap everything up in Glass, and obviously so. With a controversial ending to a trilogy that had an amazing collection already, Shyamalan shows off just how neutral his career has been from the combination of extreme ups and downs.
Story; Glass has an intriguing story and a narrative that comments well on its previous films in the trilogy. It takes its time to build up to the climax. The beginning of Glass though, feels shaky and odd from the start. Although, the build-up is this movie’s most fantastic piece. The perfect indulgence of each character’s underlying humanity as well as the tension and shocking moments are all amazing together. It pulls the audience in for what’s in store. But the story’s conclusion feels somewhat unsatisfying. It leaves the audience not necessarily yearning for more but rather wishing there had been more. The finale of action is a great showcase of the characters’ abilities and closes up the loose ends of their arcs. By time Glass is all concluded though, the way it’s done feels lazily rushed and could have been much better. Shyamalan puts forth an interesting story in Glass to close out his trilogy, one that leaves you stunned – whether that be in a good or bad way depends on your personal tastes.
Enjoyment; Glass is very, very entertaining. You won’t be able to quite pinpoint why but it is a thoroughly enjoyable journey through this movie. It was well paced and occasionally had slow moments, but overall was a fun time that rarely dragged. Glass is thrilling, especially in its tremendous acting and action. The action – while used sparingly – is very personal and gives us a more immersive perspective during the fight sequences. Twists also keep your attention glued to the screen as you try to decipher the clues Mr. Shyamalan lays out for us. As long as you’re looking for an entertainingly clever suspense film, Glass will give you a great time.
David: “I went into Glass with as neutrally an open-mind I could have. As many movies don’t have to be deemed blockbusters all-around to be good. More importantly, I personally came out satisfied – not necessarily with how it ended specifically – but with how true it kept to the trilogy’s formula. That with the increase in action scenes, made me really enjoy Glass until the credits rolled.”
JP: “I was pleasantly surprised by Glass. Based on the reviews I’d seen online, I was very worried about this movie. But it shocked me how well made it was, and the amount of enjoyment I got out of it. If you’re a fan of Split or Unbreakable, this is a must watch.”