Glass movie review: M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film is full of twists and turns

Our main characters, trying to understand the twists and turns. | Universal Images

Our main characters, trying to understand the twists and turns. | Universal Images

A glass does not go as you think. Of course not: it’s a M. Night Shyamalan film. The one thing everyone can agree on about Shyamalan is his love of the devious twists of act three, the more the merrier – by the end of his last, there are at least four. But, still, if you expect A glass stick to the same notes as the superhero movies we’ve grown used to in the years since Shyalaman’s own Unbreakable, You will be surprised. Shyamalan has other ideas.

To recap: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is an indestructible man, having survived a catastrophic train crash that made him aware of his strange superpower. For 19 years, he has wandered the streets to stop petty crime, concealing his identity by wearing a rain poncho. Particularly striking are selected shots of its imposing masked silhouette, backlit by open doors and frosted windows. Meanwhile, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), otherwise known as Patricia, or Hedwig, or Dennis, or Barry, or any number of other divided identities jostling in his head, keeps his compulsions sated in kidnapping those untouched by sin (usually teenage girls) and trying to feed them to his final, most terrifying identity: The Beast.

Dunn and Crumb finally meet when Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) takes them both to a mental institution, where she keeps them in locked rooms and explains that she has been given three days to convince them that they suffer from delusions of superheroic grandeur for their entire lives. There are no superheroes, just a very new and very fascinating form of hallucinogenic mania, she tells them.

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Dr Staple bit more than she can chew. | Universal Images

And it can be very convincing. What if, she asks Dunn, who is also blessed with the ability to see people’s intentions just by touching them, he’s just an extremely talented observer, like Sherlock Holmes? What if, she asks the various identities of Crumb, their employer terror The Beast was simply endowed with the abilities of a very strong man? Her only problem: She also included in her talk a very bright and very depraved potential supervillain (Samuel L. Jackson), who goes by the name of Mr. Glass.

It’s hard to go into too much detail without spoiling the tastier aspects of the plot. Shyamalan, with his surprise trilogy, has proven to be a global construction master, and yet his heroes remain firmly grounded in a very real version of reality. A green screen CGI light shows this is not the case. McAvoy’s character seems the only one helped in any way by a computer, which lends itself to a few sticks in the brain like The Beast climbing up a wall, his fingers and toes smashing into concrete and galloping. on all fours across a field like a dog (the human body should not be able to TO DO this). McAvoy’s vamp and lisp and all the other fascinating ways he contorts his face and posture for each of Crumb’s 23 identities don’t need any technological help.

The first half of the film is an intricate, beautifully directed build with careful attention to detail and set design. Dunn’s cell is fitted with pipes filled with pressurized water, which he believes is his weakness. Crumb’s gate is guarded by a strobe light that forces another identity to manifest if the present one gets too rowdy. The first meeting of the main characters takes place in an austere pink room, perfectly matched with Dr. Staple’s immaculate and infuriating pastel wardrobe. Dunn’s son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) returns to the comic book store, and To divideThe heroine of Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) follows closely, their investigations lit by neon signs proclaiming “HEROES” or “VILLAINS”.

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The comic book store is back. | Universal Images

The twists and turns, when they happen, are what will make or destroy the movie for a lot of people. Superhero comics almost always come to some sort of dramatic, unrestricted conclusion, and A glass is no different, leading each of his characters to a final showdown, repeatedly teased by the comic-obsessed Mr. Glass himself. “The collection of main characters,” he drawled, as all the main members of the Glass the cast come together to watch the final showdown (or, as Mr. Glass would call it, “the showdown”). Never a particularly subtle director, Shyamalan gives you all the clues you need to understand most of his third act twists, provided you know what you’re looking for.

At some point during A glassthe finale of, I vividly remembered what is perhaps the best scene in any modern superhero movie: In Sam Raimi’s Spider-man 2, after Peter Parker single-handedly stopped a train from crashing into an abyss, he passed out. Like a wounded god, he is carried hand in hand by the passengers whose lives he has just saved and placed on the floor of the train, where they all look at him before promising to keep his identity a secret. In Shyamalan’s opinion, the successful studios (one of which A glass boldly name-drops in the middle of the film) have trained us to expect the epic and ignore the deep. But, as Casey reminds the characters in A glass at one point when Superman was introduced to the world in Action Comics # 1, he couldn’t even fly. And yet the world believed. It’s never the sound, the color, the fight scenes and the laser light shows that count; that’s what superheroes mean to a world in desperate need of them.

In UnbreakableMr. Glass – then known as Elijah Price – was motivated by the idea that he could create superheroes, bringing out Dunn’s more than human traits. Now, in the conclusion of Shyamalan’s Eastrail 117 trilogy, Glass wants the world to see his work. It is not enough for them to exist: the rest of the world needs to believe. “It’s a origin storyGlass said firmly, while planning his main dish. It is unfortunate, perhaps even tragic, that the only way for him to do this is to become the enemy, to bring the heroes out of the shadows for the world to see, to prove that there is still something on this earth which deserves to be marveled.

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Emma Stefansky is entertainment writer for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.

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