Not Too Much Movie Review: Glass (2019)February 20, 2019
Director/Writer: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAVoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson
This is a weird fascinating mess of a movie. It’s at once completely silly and stupid and also frequently brilliant and completely earnest and measured.
I was intitially super excited but then went in with more muted expectations due to the string of bad reviews.
I’ll start by saying what absolutely did work for me –
James McAvoy – Jesus christ, he’s a brilliant actor. He goes so big and yet makes every character inside Kevin feel like their own person with their own subtle nuances and intricacies. This should get an Best Supporting Actor nod in 2020.
Cinematography – The film’s use of color and camera movements are great. I even love the color grading that allows M Night to use the scenes from past films and allows them to feel at one with the rest of the film’s visual look.
Superhero Metatext – I love how the film is at once this continued argument that Unbreakable started about superheroes and genre fare in general being accepted as serious art. Yet at the same time, it’s this critique of how that genre has changed in the last 20 years and how many superhero films seem to forego any real humanity. There’s even a riff as amusing as it obnoxious on how the public consciousness and fascination in the genre has changed too.
The ending – Loved it, some great twists and red herrings. I thought the performances and message elevated it.
Anya Taylor Joy – Still one of the most adventurous young actresses working and still a goddamn smokeshow.
What did not work –
Plotting/Pacing – It wasn’t even that it was slow, it was more that the film tried to combine disparate tones and as a result it has this weirdly jagged pacing to it.
David Dunn – Unbreakable is so much a character drama that largely by the end, David Dunn’s arc is pretty much complete, there’s not really much M Night can do with the character and as a result I think he kinda struggles to figure out how to build his character an emotional narrative. It kinda just ends up rehashing his Unbreakable arc but in a 30 minute form.
Action Sequences – M Night has never really been an action director and none of these films have ever been heavy on action. When it does happen, it’s both not very visually interesting and goes on for too long. I know the film basically required a showdown, but I feel like he could have played more with the tension of them finally attacking each other and less with him just trying and failing at a normal action scene.
Over-ambitious: Kinda M Night being M Night, he wants to tackle lots of different ideas but also regularly mixes metaphor and doesn’t really have the skill as a writer to pull it off. I like M Night a lot actually, but he also has limitations.
Overexplaining: Another M Night being M Night thing – M Night films always have periods that feel condescending cause he is proud of his own ideas and wants to hammer everything home to make sure nothing is missed, sometimes to a frankly irritating degree.
Final Thoughts: By no conventional means is it a great film, it’s frequently messy and silly and over-ambitious but it also is WAY more interesting and way more fun than the vast majority of superhero movies I’ve seen over the last few years.
Let’s say a 8.5 for enjoyment and entertainment and a 6 for actual filmmaking merit = 7.5
3.5 N2M Guys out of 5