“You know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world. To not know why you’re here. That’s just an awful feeling. I almost gave up hope. There were so many times I questioned myself. But I found you. So many sacrifices, just to find you. Now that we know who you are, I know who I am. I’m not a mistake. It all makes sense. In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch villain is going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends, like you and me. I should have known way back when, you know why, David? Because of the kids! They called me… Mr. Glass.” -Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson)
Nineteen years in the making sounds like a gimmick but with this particular unexpected franchise it couldn’t be more truthful. Shortly after Unbreakable was released in 2000 M. Night Shyamalan has stated that he had ideas for The Beast and what eventually became Split way back then. After a long stint in director’s prison he started clawing his way out of the pit in 2015 with The Visit. After some new found confidence he returned to Unbreakable with the enigmatic Split and in true Shyamalan fashion he left the world with an ending to remember, and a future chapter to yearn for. And now in 2019 we have GLASS, the final chapter (I assume) in the Unbreakable universe. Was it all worth waiting nineteen years for?
After reading numerous reviews it’s become quite obvious this movie was made for the fans and the critics be damned. GLASS takes the mythos and potential and unravels in a minimalist manner while always feeling like everything taking place will undoubtedly change the world forever. The implications are immense without ever getting out of hand in a story sense. Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and James McAvoy all return to bring this epic to its amazing final climax.
New to the story is Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) whose purpose is to analyze and interpret the alleged delusions of individuals that believe they are in fact superheroes. I think one of the best psychologically twisted aspects to this story is that despite everything we’ve seen these men do, The Beast and his Horde, David Dunn as The Overseer, Elijah Price as mastermind Mr. Glass, Dr. Staple casts nothing but doubt about who they believe themselves to be. She becomes so convincing that these three extraordinary men begin to question their very existence. It will take the remarkable abilities of these men on display for the world to witness to cast out the doubt and bring about a new world where the exceptional is no longer delusions of grandeur or mistakes of nature. It is, quite simply, the next step of evolution. If they believe her, this realization may die with them in the walls of a mental institution.
GLASS does a fantastic job of combining tones from each of its predecessors; Unbreakable emits psychological terror and discovery that can make the audience feel alone at times and others completely alive and part of the human race. With Split there is a more horror feel to it with visceral imagery and terrifying impossibilities front and center. Combined, GLASS creates an amalgam that is both intellectually engaging but without ever forgetting how important it is for these characters to interact in every way, from the in-depth, complicated conversations to the unforgiving moments of brilliance between hero and villain, the most basic but engrossing moments of a long awaited finale, finally making its way into the light, much like the superhumans themselves.
As with most films there is usually a standout and among such a talented cast one did emerge as truly brilliant, James McAvoy. Going from nine different personalities to a jaw-dropping twenty, the idea of him falling from grace wasn’t so far fetched. Instead, like the true professional he is, nine or twenty it doesn’t matter, he simply knocks his performances out of the park repeatedly. The smallest of nuances separate each character he plays and he portrays not only each personality brilliantly but it’s in the transitions between each that his greatest moments of genius show through. At times these characters he plays as one man, they can ignore one another or interact in complete conversations making for truly entertaining moments of masterclass acting, no matter how complicated. You begin to believe him and start to see each personality as their own being, with their own bodies, they just all happen to resemble James McAvoy. His performance alone is worth the time and money.
As one of his biggest fans, a lover of everything he did from The Sixth Sense to Unbreakable of course to Signs and yes even The Village, to see him re-emerge is something special and certainly brings a smile to my face. With GLASS he took one of his most beloved projects and expanded upon it simply because he knew what fascinating stories awaited but also that his fans would flock to see what came next after such a unique and ingenious approach to the superhero genre. To ground such grandiose desires in the realm of reality and create a clash between those two versions of the world was nothing short of the bravest kind of filmmaking. So say what you will of the man, M. Night Shyamalan is someone who treks into the unknown of movie making and reaches for the stories that interest him, rather than going for the lowest hanging fruit, to make a movie for the sake of money is never on his to do list and that is commendable. GLASS is a worthy finish to a great story of grounded superheroism and the mental strains of such a difficult way of life, the most extraordinary of lives come together to show what the human race is capable of doing. This is just the beginning…
Rated PG-13 For: violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language
Runtime: 129 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Starring: Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4.5/ Acting: 4/ Directing: 4.5/ Visuals: 5
OVERALL: 4.5 Nerdskulls
Buy to Own: Yes
Check out the trailer below:
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