“Glass” movie review: a nutty ride with M. Night Shyamalan

The devious question posed in “Unbreakable,” the mystery that sets it apart from the grandiose fables of ordinary superheroes, is whether Dunn is the real deal or if Glass simply wants a leaf worthy of his self-glorification. In “Unbreakable,” Dunn begins as a seemingly average guy, a security guard who is strictly a Clark Kent. Dunn knows he’s different (he feels evil through touch), but his powers are only awakened because of Glass. When the new movie opens, Glass is under wraps and Dunn has been stealthily doing his superhero thing for quite some time, slyly saving the day under the guise of the security company he runs with his son (Spencer Treat Clark, taking over the same role).

“Glass” opens smoothly with heroic, small-scale acts that set the humorous, edgy tone and introduces Dunn, who always fights while wearing an identity-obscuring rain poncho. The ready-made costume is crucial for its understated charm and vibe. It is also representative of Shyamalan’s eccentric and intimate scale superhero universe, which relies on personality quirks and everyday fears rather than computer-generated special effects and destructive brawls of the world. Its heroes and villains are invariably more ordinary – and human – than extraordinary, which raises the stakes and heightens the tension.

Shyamalan finds a way to cram Dunn, Glass, and Crumb into the same fictional universe, but he hasn’t found a convincing way to make them fit together. He seems to know it, and so, after the reintroductions and other throat-clearing foreplay, Shyamalan locks all three of them in the same mental hospital. There, they are cared for by a spectacularly inept shrink, Dr. Staple (Sarah Paulson), who insists they are just delusional. Actor Luke Kirby, who currently plays Lenny Bruce on the Amazonian show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” appears as a hospital attendant, casting a cast that I turned into an imaginary franchise crossover every time. that “Glass” began to sag.

And he does so with increasing frequency, although for the most part there’s enough in the film – creepy cameras, staggered boos, glowing mauve and most importantly his three male sons – to make up for the lengths, obvious filling and wobbly plotting. . Shyamalan has been celebrated for her twisty stories, but her real strength lies in her gifts for instilling terror at seemingly mundane times and for her work with actors. McAvoy often takes off his shirt in a distracting fashion (his pumped up bare chest is a special effect), but his quicksilver character changes are fun and often tricky. Jackson and especially Willis are yet another reminder of how good they can be when asked for more than a shtick and a booming smirk.

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