Glass is a movie that I was really looking forward too. I really enjoyed Split, and Unbreakable is one of my favorite movies of all time and I’m a fan of Shyamalan, even though he’s had a couple of big misses over the years. Unfortunately, Glass can be described like his directing career, a big mixed bag.
The film tells the story of David Dunn (Bruce Willis) a super-powered being, who is on the hunt for the beast (James McAvoy) a man who has 24 personalities. But when both men get sent to this Asylum where Mastermind Elijah Wood (Samuel L. Jackson) is being held, all hell breaks loose.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of great stuff in this film. James McAvoy is again terrific as Kevin Wendell Crumb and he might be even better here than in Split. He’s incredible as this tortured human being with 24 personalities and he’s the one that gets to shine the most out of the three leads.
While Bruce Willis doesn’t have much to do, he’s actually trying for the first time since a while. It’s great to see the same actor (Spenser Treat Clark) that played his son come back to reprise his role after nineteen years and his relationship with his father is probably the best part of this film.
Samuel L. Jackson is also really good once again as Elijah Price when he decides to become an important player to the plot. It takes a while though before he actually does anything, but when he does it’s great. His scenes with the best are fantastic and you never know what he’s actually got in sore in the back of his brain.
Anya Taylor Joy also reprises her role as Casey, the soul-surviving member of her last encounter with The Beast in Split. She is dealing with some soul searching. She’s very good with the scenes she’s given, but again her storyline is very minimal to the overall plot.
The direction is also really good. M. Night plays with the colors a lot and gives each character its own costume and its great stuff. The film is a lot more colorful than Unbreakable, which had a more dark and bleak color pallet. There’s a few shots that are POV, where the character will take a camera when he’s fighting, which doesn’t look all that great, but other than that the fight scenes we’re fun and entertaining and there was more action than I thought there would be.
The movie also starts pretty strong and it’s great to see where the characters are now after all these years. M. Night uses some scenes that were filmed but deleted from Unbreakable as flashbacks, which was so great to see. It fits perfectly with the story.
Now on to the negatives. The movie tries to be too many things at once and doesn’t have a clear narrative. It’s very dull at times and most of the scenes that take place in the psychiatric hospital revolving around Sarah Paulson’s character we’re just boring and repetitive and that segment of the movie lasts for at least an hour and it’s not subtle at all, like the first Unbreakable was. Sarah Paulson is a great actress, but her character just isn’t interesting and doesn’t have a place in this story. I get what M. Night was trying to do with her, but she just bogged down the entire film.
Unbreakable was never really a superhero movie to me. It was a drama. A character piece about two men trying to figure out their place in the world. My biggest fear of the film going in was that it would be too comic-bookie and it would lose the realism that Unbreakable had. And that’s what happened. This doesn’t feel the same universe that the first movie built upon; it almost feels like the Marvel universe where anybody can be a superhero, which to me looses some of the specialness of Unbreakable.
And there’s the ending, which to me was lackluster and completely let me down. It wasn’t awful and it wasn’t Lady in the Water type bad, but it was pretty disappointing. I don’t understand why Shyamalan sometimes does the thing he does. This movie has moments of greatness in it, one where you could tell that he knows what he’s doing behind the camera. But it’s moments like the final act that just leaves you emotionally drained and just bewildered to why M. Night would do the things he did.
Overall, while it has some great moments, good characters and it’s great to see them on screen again after so long Glass has a weak narrative, some pacing issues, an unsatisfying third act which also serves as a disappointing conclusion to the David Dunn story.