Film Review: Glass

Glass is a moderately entertaining, but overall weak conclusion to M. Night Shyamalan’s Eastrail 177 Trilogy. Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, and James McAvoy range from great to astounding, but can still only do so much to make up for the fairly weak supporting cast, sluggish pacing, and disappointing final act.

Picking up shortly after Split, Glass begins with metahuman David Dunn (Willis) trying to track down Kevin Wendell Crumb’s villainous alternate personalities, known to the public as “the Horde” (McAvoy). After an initial encounter, David and Kevin are captured and placed in a hospital under the care of Doctor Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychiatrist who specializes in helping people who falsely believe themselves to be superhuman. Shortly after their imprisonment, Crumb and Dunn cross paths with the former’s self-proclaimed archenemy, Elijah Price/Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). Once Price learns of Dunn and Crumb’s capture, he hatches a plan to aide the Horde and set up a rematch between the two nigh-invulnerable brawlers for the world to see.

Glass works best any time at least two of the three leads are together, which is frustrating because a large portion of the movie is spent with them in separate rooms, talking to someone else. Dunn’s relationship with his son (Spencer Treat Clark returning from Unbreakable) has potential that never really goes anywhere, Crumb’s time with the survivor from Split (Anya Taylor-Joy) is rarely as impactful as it should be, and listening to Price’s mother (Charlayne Woodard) gloss over his atrocities from Unbreakable with lines about his struggle with “finding his place in the world,” falls woefully flat.

While I may not be as forgiving as Mrs. Price, I was still able to let most of Glass’ issues slide because of how well it works when Dunn, Price, and Crumb actually get to share the spotlight. This is a film that lives on star power, and Willis, Jackson, and McAvoy are just enough to keep it on life support.Every part of McAvoy’s tremendous performance from Split is turned up to eleven here. He steals almost every scene he’s in by quickly changing personalities convincingly (sometimes without even speaking), and bringing forth the film’s best comedic and dramatic moments. Willis isn’t as amazing as McAvoy, but he’s still on his A-game here. Dunn is a little more talkative this time around than he was in Unbreakable, which gives him some of Willis’ natural swagger. Jackson is great as the titular character as well, and oozes a villainous charm. Price is a lot of fun to watch when he’s working against Dunn, and his first meeting with the Horde is one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

However, almost all of the goodwill Glass builds with its three leading actors is quickly lost during the shockingly poor finale. I can’t say why without spoilers, but the film’s last ten or so minutes are incredibly frustrating, and probably, sadly familiar to fans of Shyamalan.

With all said and done, Glass falls fairly short when compared to its predecessors. It’s not a total letdown but I can’t imagine fans of Unbreakable and Split feeling completely satisfied with it either.

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