There are many movies that are worth seeing, but there are a lot of stinkers as well. My goal here is to weed out the good from the bad.
A deranged man who kidnapped and killed a bunch of girls is still at large, and David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is on the hunt to find him. He eventually discovers the man responsible, Kevin (James McAvoy), suffers from dissociative identity disorder, and that one of his many personalities is superhuman. Unfortunately, David is not the only one looking for Kevin. Authorities are hot on his trail, and they end up apprehending both Kevin and David.
David and Kevin are sent to the same mental institution that currently holds the criminal mastermind Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson). Each of the three men are contained in a room that is specifically equipped to contain them, and they are all under the supervision of Doctor Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Doctor Staple specializes in a mental disorder in which people believe they have superhuman abilities. Her mission is to treat David, Kevin, and Elijah to make them come to terms with the reality that none of them possess superhuman abilities and that everything they have experienced can be explained scientifically. What the doctor does not anticipate is what could happen if Elijah manipulates Kevin’s animalistic personality, known as The Beast. If that happens, and Ellie Staple is wrong about her theory, David Dunn may be the only one capable of stopping them.
The Pros & Cons
|The Pros||The Cons|
David Dunn (+6pts)
Stockholm Syndrome (-3pts)
James McAvoy (+10pts)
Ellie Staple (-4pts)
Mr. Glass (+8pts)
The Ending (-4pts)
Pro: David Dunn (+6pts)
I liked David Dunn’s story in Unbreakable, and I thought Glass was a great continuation of that story. In Unbreakable, he slowly came to terms with the idea that he had superhuman abilities, and in Glass, he was forced to challenge that idea. On top of his inner struggle, he also had to go head-to-head with his greatest challenge yet in the Beast. I found this character’s story to be pretty interesting, but there was more to like about David Dunn.
It was also just fun to see Bruce Willis back in this role. I liked seeing David’s relationship with his now adult son, I liked seeing David taking on the role of a hero, and I liked seeing his faith in his abilities tested after having finally coming to terms with them in the last movie. Was the character the most charismatic? No, but Bruce Willis had a great screen presence, gave the movie a heavy dose of nostalgia by revisiting David Dunn, and I liked what the filmmakers did with the character.
Con: Stockholm Syndrome (-3pts)
I liked Anya Taylor-Joy’s character in Split, but I thought she felt out-of-place in this movie. It did not feel like the character naturally fit into this story, but the filmmakers wanted Kevin to have a connection with another character from a previous movie—like David and Elijah had with their son and mother, respectively. The filmmakers clearly wanted to have a character that cared about Kevin, but I did not think it made any sense to make Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) that character. The only way to accept this character in this role would be to assume she had Stockholm Syndrome, but that was not how Split left things off, so it made it hard for me to buy her as someone who cared for Kevin.
Maybe the filmmakers could have found another way to get Anya Taylor-Joy in this movie. If they had, there would not be any complaints from me. I thought Anya Taylor-Joy did a decent enough job in this movie, just like she did in Split, and I am excited to see what future roles this young actress will pop-up in next. My complaint was simply with how the filmmakers used the character, as it just did not work for me. It was cringe-inducing at times, mostly unearned, and I thought the filmmakers could have found another character to tie to Kevin's past without having to inflict Casey with Stockholm Syndrome.
Pro: James McAvoy (+10pts)
I am sure this will come as no surprise to anyone who saw Split, but James McAvoy was massively entertaining and massively impressive in Glass. His character suffered from disassociative identity disorder and had twenty four personalities in his mind. Split was able to get several of these personalities into the movie, but Glass easily doubled—possibly even tripled that. They did this by having a night nurse flash the hypnotic lights a bunch of times, which was a kind of ridiculous scene, but it forced new personalities to surface, which meant we got to see James McAvoy doing his thing.
I cannot imagine the process that went into keeping all of these characters straight in his mind, but James McAvoy did a fantastic job of making each personality feel like a different character. From his voice, to his posture and his facial expressions, James McAvoy forced us to see a completely different character every time he switched personalities. We got plenty of new personalities, but also got to revisit the fan favorites of Patricia, Hedwig, Dennis, and the Beast. Did some of the other twenty personalities blur together? Yes, that was why it was so hard for me to keep track of just how many were in this movie, but it was incredibly entertaining to watch James McAvoy doing his thing.
Con: Ellie Staple (-4pts)
Sarah Paulson is always great, but I just could not get behind this character. Ellie Staple would have been far more effective if she were a part of Unbreakable or Split, but I do not think she worked effectively in Glass. In Unbreakable, she would have been an effective obstacle in David’s journey toward realizing his superhuman capabilities, and she would have been effective at making the audience doubt the legitimacy of Elijah’s claims. In Split, she could have served a similarly effective role, as a counterpart to the claims of Kevin’s psychiatrist.
Unfortunately, with Glass audience members who have seen the last two movies will have seen the superhuman capabilities of these characters, so will not be fooled by this character's claims, even if the main characters were. Furthermore, the precautions she took with the patient’s rooms did not make any sense. Why rig David’s room up to fill with water (David’s weakness) if she did not think he had superhuman strength? Similarly, the flashing lights for Kevin did not make sense, and were an especially dumb security measure because he could simply have blocked his eyes. On paper, the character may not have been a bad idea, but she never fooled the audience, and her strategy did not make any sense, even after you have seen the whole movie and know what she was after.
Pro: Mr. Glass (+8pts)
I am going to keep this brief to avoid spoilers, but I really enjoyed seeing Elijah Price executing his plan. In Unbreakable, Mr. Glass was a major character, but for most of that movie, his intentions were unknown. In Glass, it was really entertaining to see the guy as a full-fledged villain, but I still found myself rooting for him—to an extent. We knew how difficult of a life Elijah had, so we sympathized with him. On top of that, Samuel L. Jackson was really entertaining in the role, and I enjoyed seeing Elijah executing his plan and outsmarting everyone.
Con: The Ending (-4pts)
My problem with the ending was not the same problem that a lot of people had. I thought the movie gave a fitting conclusion to Kevin’s story and I thought that the yin-yang relationship between David and Elijah made the ending symbolic. Additionally, this was an M. Night Shamalan movie, and the guy loves going in directions that audiences do not expect. The guy also likes keeping the tone of his movies dark. In that respect, I thought the ending of the story made sense for the writer-director’s style and it made sense for the stories of each of the main characters.
My problem was not with what happened—except for maybe the puddle—but with how it happened. I do not want to say exactly what went down or how, but the filmmakers had never setup the how. My only clue to those who have seen the movie is: clover. The filmmakers just never set the clover thing up in any way. It was an entirely new thing, which made the ending feel super random, and somewhat anti-climactic. The story built and built toward one thing, then delivered something entirely different, which made it hard to be invested in it. Again, I thought what happened made sense for each character’s story, but I did not think the filmmakers earned this particular ending.
Grade: B+ (88pts)
Glass was one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I liked Unbreakable, and I thought Split was great, so I was naturally looking forward to this one. We got the returns of Bruce Willis as David Dunn, Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, and James McAvoy as Kevin Crumb. It was a great cast playing iconic characters. Each performance was strong, and the characters were a lot of fun to watch, but it was James McAvoy that was the obvious standout.
The movie got a lot of backlash regarding its ending, but I was okay with the direction that the filmmakers went in, to an extent. I thought the conclusion made sense for the three main characters, but I did not think M. Night Shamalan had earned this particular ending just yet, as it introduced something that had never been introduced or hinted at throughout the other three movies. The ending just felt anti-climactic and it felt like it came out of nowhere. Additionally, Sarah Paulson’s character did not work for me, and I did not understand the need in bringing Anya Taylor-Joy’s character back in this manner, as I did not buy that she would care about Kevin. I had a lot of fun in this movie, but it did have a few characters that did not work, it had a number of logic issues, and it ended in a pretty random, anti-climactic way.