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‘Glass’ (2019)
Blumhouse Productions & Blinding Edge Pictures

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Anna Taylor-Joy, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson & Spencer Treat Clark
Glass‘ is a movie I’ve been hyped about ever since the post credits scene of ‘Split‘ which hit theaters almost 3 years ago to the day. A fantastic movie with so many memorable performances was now tied into the same world as ‘Unbreakable‘ which was released back in 2000 when writer / director M. Night Shyamalan was at the top of his game. Suddenly, we realized we were getting an origin story with ‘Split’ and that we would be getting a trilogy out of all of this. It was brilliant in its design, simple in its execution, and we eagerly awaited the payoff. Whether through expectations being too high or due to Shyamalan being unable to stick the landing, ‘Glass’ was not quite the exciting third act climax that we’d hoped to see. Picking up several months after the events of ‘Split’, David Dunn (a role being reprised by Bruce Willis) owns an electronics store with his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark also reprising his role) but he also patrols the city as the mysterious vigilante “Overseer” on the search for Kevin Wendall Crumb (played by James McAvoy) who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. One of Crumb’s personalities is a super human figure known as The Beast who plans to kill 4 cheerleaders who were kidnapped by a few of his other personalities. An initial confrontation between Dunn & The Beast comes to an abrupt end when a squad of police intervene along with psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) who has both men subdued and taken to a mental hospital for treatment to cure them of their delusions that they are super heroes. Also at this clinic is a catatonic Elijah Price (played again by Samuel L. Jackson) AKA: Mr. Glass. Soon it becomes apparent that Mr. Glass has been playing the long game and intends to seize this opportunity to pit David against The Beast in front of the entire world to prove his theory that comic book heroes actually exist among us.

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While the ride itself is decently satisfying, the payoff feels less so. There are some fun moments seeing these characters together on the screen and the performances are solid from the cast with McAvoy stealing the show by once again portraying 20+ personalities. Samuel L. Jackson is also fantastic (but c’mon… when is he not?) as this film’s title character but Bruce Willis seems just kind of… there. Not that there was anything wrong with his performance, but I feel that his character was not done much service in this film and he’s not used to the levels I was expecting to see. Sarah Paulson is wonderful and Anya Taylor-Joy (back from ‘Split‘) also delivers a terrific performance. This is definitely a film where one needs to see the first two installments to fully understand and appreciate what the movie does have to offer. The twist ending (an M. Night Shyamalan staple) is fine, but it’s only ‘The Village‘ fine and not ‘Unbreakable‘ fine. Due to the rather unsatisfactory conclusion and a lack of feeling any of that real gut-twisting suspense that was quite present in the first two installments, I’d have to give ‘Glass’ a very fragile 5 out of 10.  See this film for closure and not for any new ground to be broken. Maybe if you go in with lower expectations, you’ll end up enjoying it more than I did. (It’s also worth noting that there are no post credit scenes in this one, so feel free to take off as soon as the movie concludes.) ‘Glass’ opens in theaters across the U.S. on Friday 1/18/2019.

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