Directed by #MNightShyamalan
Once 2016’s Split revealed itself to be part of a larger universe, it became clear M. Night Shyamalan had a plan afoot for his first film series. The master of plot twists managed to keep Split a secret sequel, meaning it was a genuine shock for most movie-goers as David Dunn (Bruce Willis) made his return from Unbreakable (2000) and muttered the words that would go on to title the conclusion to the ‘Eastrail 177’ trilogy.
Glass combines three acting powerhouses in McAvoy, Willis and Jackson, and seeks to conclude a story that started nearly two decades ago. The premise is strong and the cast is intriguing, but the ultimate endgame is anticlimactic.
Shyamalan isn’t exactly known for pace in story-telling – anyone who has sat through The Village knows that much. But fans of his work do expect a high-level of intrigue, trickery, originality and character depth. For much of the film, we are treated to this, with the clever bringing together of the established characters from the franchise’s previous entries (in spite of their seemingly chalk and cheese relation), namely the welcome return of McAvoy’s “Horde” who is equally terrifying and hilarious.
Where Split was often lost in confusion on the existence of “The Beast”, Glass wastes no time in having the persona at the forefront of the story. We come to understand how it can be summoned and contained, though are no clearer in its goal. This, combined with Dunn’s pursuance of the “Horde”, Dr Ellie Staple’s (Paulson) mysterious presence, and the welcome return of Anna Taylor-Joy, embellish a compelling curiosity for the fate of the characters.
Unfortunately, the final act is clueless, misguided and irrelevant. Shyamalan was clearly all out of shock twists.
The meta superhero story-telling is clever to a point. The fighting amongst the characters is clever…to a point. But Glass loses itself amongst the decline in quality of both. McAvoy can scream at SWAT teams all he wants – it won’t save the movie.
It could be said that Glass is at least original – few would predict the finale as it departs from your traditional comic book ending. Though perhaps this is so because the audience expect more from Shyamalan and the trilogy he has poured his time into. It feels rushed and amateurish, disrespectful to the first two thirds of the film even. The calibre of the characters created and the performances given are eventually frustrated by Glass’s confused purpose, perhaps stemming from the title being as misleading to the centre point of the story as calling a Batman film Superman.
Still, it’s not as bad as The Village.