Despite early critical reviews saying to the contrary – there’s still plenty to see through M Night Shyamalan’s Glass.
After 2000’s Unbreakable, and 2017’s Split, the acclaimed director concludes the – initially unexpected – trilogy, with a satisfying (if ultimately unspectacular) conclusion.
Continuing soon after the events of the second film, James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb – with Patricia, Dennis and Hedwig as the more dominant of his 24 split personalities – is back to his old tricks, this time kidnapping four school cheerleaders who are slowly awaiting their doom for Crumb to unleash his super-strong alter-ego of The Beast to devour them.
This brings back Bruce Willis’ equally super-strengthed security expert David Dunn – the soul survivor of a horrific train crash in Unbreakable – who with the help of his son Joseph (played by the same actor Spencer Treat Clark) is trying to pursue Crumb and bring him to justice.
But after Dunn and The Beast’s altercation within an exciting opening twenty minute volley, the ‘super-powered’ duo are taken into custody to a mental institution – that also house’s Dunn’s sworn enemy, the mass murderer mastermind Elijah Price aka Mr Glass (Samuel L Jackson) – after being taken-down by firearms-laden police.
And while Jackson initially takes a backseat role during the first part of the film, there’s no doubting this third part is about him after Dunn and Crumb dominated the first two respectively – as Glass hatches a plan to make the presence of all three of them unleashed on the world in a true comic-book style fashion before it’s too late.
If you take this as a standalone film that would be pointless, because you really have to be a fan of both Unbreakable and Split – the latter still being the most superior film out of the three – to get the most out of it. But if you have enjoyed Shyamalan’s previous two pieces of work, this provides a slow and methodical finale that is well worth persisting with.
The re-emergence of Anya Taylor Joy’s Casey from Split – the teenage girl who survived The Beast – is just one of the returning actors who add welcomed continuity, and with the addition of Sarah Paulson’s shady psychiatric doctor Ellie Staple, it all combines to nicely tidy up the trilogy – especially with some emotionally evocative set-pieces thrown in to piece it all together.
It doesn’t end up being the genre shattering experience that maybe Split was to some – even though McAvoy does steal the show again – but Shyamalan concludes his own cinematic universe tri-factor in noteworthy fashion.
Just with a bit more ‘spit and polish’ – he could have smashed it out of the park.
Cast: James Mcavoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Adam David Thompson, Luke Kirby, Charlayne Woodard & Anya Taylor-Joy
Running Time: 2 Hrs9 Mins
Director: M Night Shyamalan
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