“Glass” is a thriller about three people, endowed with the abilities beyond the boundaries of understanding and trying to figure out the relationship between them. Many critics have pointed out that this is a rather risky undertaking, aimed at revising the very foundations of the genre of comics about superheroes.
Director and screenwriter M. Night Shyamalan never shied away from ambitious topics, but he always approached them from his special point of view. At the 2018 Comic-Con festival, film director M. Night Shyamalan noted that this film was a unique project. For the first time, Disney-owned Company Buena Vista International, which has the rights to the film “Invulnerable,” and Universal Pictures, which owns the rights to the film “Split,” agreed to unite to make a film together. Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Luke Kirby, Jane Park Smith, Kylie Zion, and others are starring in “Glass.”
The film is a continuation of “Unbreakable” and “Split.” We can see the main personages of these movies on the Glass poster. The story takes place shortly after the finale of “Split.” Having realized his uniqueness, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) becomes a crime fighter. He begins the pursuit of a mysterious man with multiple personality disorders, nicknamed the Beast (James McAvoy) and eventually meets him, ready for battle. However, Glass doctor Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) intervenes. She places opponents in a psychiatric hospital, where Elijah Price (Mr. Glass, Samuel L. Jackson) is in a very bad state. Ellie wants to convince her patients that they do not have any supernormal abilities and live in their own illusory world.
Impressions and Actors
The first reviews of the film (the end of the trilogy, which was begun in 2000 with the film “Invulnerable”) turned out to be simply annihilating. On the popular Rotten Tomatoes website, “Glass” has only 38% of “freshness,” with 29 reviews. A skeptic can say that “Glass” looks like a short episode of a heroic film, smeared for 2 hours, and even without special effects. The Forbes observers blamed Shyamalan for the fact that “Glass” does not add anything of value and does not meet the requirements for the popular genre, but instead actively defiles the carefully constructed mythology.
Nevertheless, M. Night Shyamalan’s picture should not be treated like any blockbuster, which, after a delightful viewing, is forgotten immediately after leaving the cinema. Shyamalan’s films have an amazing feature - they live out of time, they can be reviewed, and people find something new every time they watch them. A prime example is “Unbreakable,” which marked the beginning of the trilogy. If in 2000, a grandiose story about the origin of a superhero, filed through the prism of a midlife crisis, appeared too early to catch the viewer, now it looks completely different. In addition, the director’s ability to create a mysterious atmosphere has not gone away thanks to well-chosen music (among other things). One of the features of the film was the role of James McAvoy. As in “Split,” the Horde lives inside Kevin Crumb, and the Beast is thirsting for blood sometimes. The room for improvisation was huge. At the same time, in the “Split”, there was a moment when MacAvoy’s character came to his psychotherapist and “switched” the personality. Then, with the help of one glance, the actor made us believe that this had happened.
Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson played their usual roles - it seems that this is exactly what M. Night Shyamalan wanted to get from them. Perhaps in the trailer, the personage of Sarah Paulson (the star of the series “American Horror Story”) looks like a bit of a doll, but believe me, this is no accident.
If to say about the plot of the film Glass, as well as about the plots of many Shyamalan’s films, it is better to say that here the director decided to remind of his once famous technique: at the end, turn everything upside down. This trick worked in the heyday of Shyamalan's career.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Film
Suffice it to recall the “Sixth Sense.” Having played enough with the narrative, the director decided to philosophize on the same topic, so he came to a dead end. The best film of that period was “Lady in the Water” - a little crazy and beautiful story about a hotel, a mermaid, a writer and a critic.
“Glass” reminds the girl from water most of all. Shyamalan connects reality and history again. It took 19 years for the director to finally speak all his thoughts about this story. Moreover, despite many shortcomings of his new picture, this fact must be respected.
At first, there was the film “Unbreakable,” a story about the guard of the stadium David Dunn, who suddenly discovered supernatural abilities in himself: he was very strong, and it was almost impossible to kill him. There, in the “Unbreakable,” Dunn ran into Mr. Glass - an evil genius for whom comics are the continuation of reality.
As the end of the trilogy, “Glass” is an ambiguous film. It ties up past plot threads and at the same time tries to convince the viewer that Shyamalan has something to say during the dominance of comic book adaptations. The only question remains. Is “Glass” the most unsatisfactory part of a curious and interesting trilogy or is it an attempt to launch Shyamalan’s large-scale universe, where ordinary men and women from Philadelphia discover amazing superpowers?