Glass: Film Review

I am a huge fan of James McAvoy and thought he was brilliant in Split so, even though I didn’t care much for Unbreakable, I was looking forward to Glass, the conclusion of M. Night Shyamalan‘s trilogy. However, I came away feeling pretty meh about the whole thing.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis), who has been given the title The Overseer, spends his days pursuing Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) or The Horde, his collection of 20+ personalities, who is still at large and kidnapping girls to feed to The Beast, his animalistic persona. However, once they finally come face to face they are caught and sent to a psychiatric hospital, where mass murderer Elijah Price/Mr. Glass (Samuel L Jackson) resides, so Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) can prove they are delusional and don’t actually have superhuman powers.

First of all, I have to say McAvoy is INCREDIBLE. I cannot overstate how impressive he is. I was amazed watching him switch between personalities in quick succession all in one take. It’s not just as if he’s only changing voices either – it’s mannerisms, posture, the way he carries himself, holds his mouth. The detail is amazing. In Split we got to see him do many but in Glass we are introduced to even more and often we see him rattle through many of them seamlessly in one go. However, this did start to feel more like a gimmick. I get that Shyamalan wanted to show off his talents but I kept laughing and I don’t think that was the intention.

McAvoy is the MVP, meaning that Jackson and Willis are overshadowed at every turn. Jackson has nothing to do for a good chunk of the movie but makes an impact later and Willis is just his usual calm stoic self. He basically just smouldered the whole movie and didn’t seem like he truly wanted to be there. Luckily the slack is picked up by his onscreen son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) who was the emotional heart of the movie for me. It was so lovely to see him back as a grown up.

I usually love Paulson but I thought there was too much of her psychiatrist character, who basically spends the movie trying to explain away their superhuman abilities. I kinda found it odd that Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) wanted to help Kevin, given that she was his kidnapping victim in Split, while Charlayne Woodard, returning as Elijah’s mum, is overshadowed by poor ageing face make-up. I couldn’t look past it.

The film is just very slow and takes forever to get going, after a brilliant opening face off with Dunn and The Beast. After that they are in the institution and you really have to be patient during this part because it is way too long and not much really happens. Thankfully, things step up a gear towards the end with a cool final showdown between the three men. The whole time I was waiting for a moment that would make me feel excited but that never came. Shyamalan loves a good twist so I knew there would be some coming but they weren’t shocking or game-changing enough to really win me over.

I just don’t really understand what happened. I get that Shyamalan was trying to make a superhero film unlike what we’ve come to know with the Marvel franchise but he’s gone too much the other way, with too much talking, a glacial pace and budget CGI which looked a bit dodge in places.

Still worth a watch from McAvoy’s performance.

In cinemas Friday 18th January

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