How many of us were overly excited when at the end of Split we saw David Dunn (Bruce Willis) sitting at a coffee shop? I know I was! That ending led all the fans of Unbreakable into overdrive, churning out theories of how both movies are set in the same universe and how could they be linked up. Fast forward to 2019, M. Night Shyamalan delivers the final part of the trilogy, Glass, reuniting all three characters.
The result? Thrilling, fun, exciting and immensely enjoyable.
Glass is a movie that will make total sense to those viewers who thoroughly enjoyed Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016, the unofficial sequel to Unbreakable). If you haven’t seen either of these two movies or if you have and didn’t like them, then surely, you will not like Glass. Having said that, those who liked the first two movies will surely end up enjoying Glass.
Fortunately for me, who loved the stories in both Unbreakable and Split (Split is a personal favourite of mine because of all the psychological elements), I ended up really really liking Glass. Personally speaking, Glass is a movie that’s all about the journey, and not the destination—although the destination does lead to the typical M. Night Shyamalan Twist.
So What Happens?
Glass is a movie that doesn’t need to be discussed in details, for it will ruin the viewing experience. So I will try not to divulge extra details.
We see David Dunn (Bruce Willis) still protecting the citizens of Philadelphia from criminals. He’s known as The Overseer. His son Joseph (now all grown up Spencer Treat Clark) works along with his father.
It’s only been three weeks since the events of Split. We have Kevin Wendall Crumb (James McAvoy) and his multiple personalities, having escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo, who has captured four cheerleaders and held them hostage.
David seeks out to put an end by fighting with Kevin, or The Beast, but they are eventually caught by Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). They are taken to Raven Hill Psychiatric ward, where surprise surprise, we find that Mr Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) has already been held captive.
Dr Ellie Staple brings all three of them together to prove a point to them: they are not actually superheroes, but rather human beings with an acquired set of superhuman strength. The movie focuses on what these three superheroes do to get out of the hands of Dr Ellie Staple and escape.
Alongside this, we also follow the story of Casey (Anya Taylor Joy), the girl who survived the Beast in Split. Mr Glass’s mother also comes on to the scene.
So for the three main characters, we have three co-characters. Each time they are on screen, it was such a delight to watch them.
Clearly, James McAvoy is the star player here. His uncanny ability to metamorphosize into different personalities is a delight to watch. From Kevin to Mrs Patrick to the Beast, he’s captured them all ever so brilliantly. I wish they at least nominate him for best actor at the Oscars.
Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson have relatively lesser screen space, but extremely important roles to play. Willis played David Dunn with great restraint, and Jackson was able to bring the villainess to his menacing character rather well. It was a lot of fun to revisit these characters indeed.
Sarah Paulson is always great to watch on the big screen, but some of her dialogues let her down (they were so heavily worded with all the psychiatrist talk).
The action sequences were fun to watch. The acting prowess of them all was thrilling to watch. The story led to a satisfying conclusion (although some may argue that the story was rather weak). The theme of superheroes, comic book heroes, existing in the world was engaging. The music was brilliant—at times reminded me the musical score of The Sixth Sense.
And. The. Twist!
Yes, there is a twist. I didn’t see it coming. I was trying to figure out what the ending would be like. I had a fair idea of what would happen, but it was the moment after the climax that twisted everything, and I felt very satisfied. It felt very justified and fulfilling.
The Not So Good Bits
At 2 hours and 9 minutes, the running time of the movie may be long for some. To those who didn’t like the first two movies, will definitely not like Glass. Glass cannot be seen as a stand-alone movie. The middle part of the movie may feel like a drag to some as there’s a lot of talking going on with little action.
I truly enjoyed my experience. It felt great to be able to revisit the world of Unbreakable, with all the comic book heroes ideas and themes. It was a joy to watch Willis and Jackson 19 years later. McAvoy was a huge standout for me and truly loved watching him. Yeah, the story could have been a bit tighter and quick-paced, but I am not complaining about that.
M. Night Shyamalan
After suffering rather badly with back to back movies that flopped, Shyamalan recovered with The Visit and Split. With Glass, he will reclaim his space in Hollywood.
“A person who concentrates on what they have power over becomes unlimited in their ability to manifest what they want in the world,” Shyamalan told Drexel graduates in his commencement speech.
3.5 out of 5
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson
Genre: Superhero Action
Synopsis: Mr Glass, David Dunn and Kevin Wendall Crumb aka The Beast, attempt to escape the clutches of Dr Ellie Staple, with unforeseen consequences.
Running time: 129 minutes
Rating: 35% Rotten Tomatoes
Seen: Cinestar, Xinhua Mall, Lahore