"Glass": The Missing Piece In The Puzzle

Despite only being released in January 2019, Glass plot started 19 years ago, when Unbreakable hit the big screen back in 2000 and continued in 2017 when Split debuted. So, with that said, if you are thinking about watching the newest creation of the talented director M. Night Shyamalan but haven’t watched yet the other two works mentioned, I suggest you to do it right after you read this review, and then, run to the movies.

(If you don’t want to follow this advice and go ahead to watch Glass, that’s fine! You will understand the story the same way, but let’s agree that watching a movie and knowing everything and every detail is much more interesting!)

These 3 movies together compose a saga that’s a little bit different from what we are used to. Many consider it genius while others point it as a difficult work to swallow, so go with this in mind to watch the trilogy. In Unbreakable, we see the birth of a superhero type. But stop right here! It isn’t this type of superhero you are thinking. He is more like a “people like us” superhero.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is a man with approximately 55 years old who, after suffering a train accident, starts to believe, by the influence of Elijah Price (Samuel El Jackson), that he might have supernatural abilities: he never got sick or injured and, in addition, was the only one who survived the accident. The plot develops dramatically and David turns into a Punisher species while Elijah is unmasked and turns into a villain. In the end, Elijah is admitted to a psychiatric hospital in Philadelphia.

Image Source: IMDB 

In Split, Shyamalan retake the comics inspiration and creates one more villain for the saga: the Beast. The Beast is one of the 24 Kevin’s (James McAvoy) personalities, a young man with an atypical mental disturb that allows him to chemically change his personality only by his thought strength. In this sequence, Kevin kidnaps three teenagers and keeps them in captivity. With an agonizing mixture of terror and suspense, constructed by the incredible movement and positioning of the cameras in line with the impeccable soundtrack (merits to Shyamalan), only one of the girls, Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) escapes from the hands of the Beast.

Weeks after the kidnap committed by Kevin, David and his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) start to investigate another case of disappearance that envolves, again, teenage girls. That is the moment that Shyamalan’s trilogy conclusion starts. David and Kevin, after a dignified confrontation of heroes and villains for the victims liberty, are taken to the same psychiatric hospital where Elijah, Mister Glass, is internee for already 15 years.  

Glass, differently from the other two movies, bets in less drama and more action. There is a remnant of suspense from Split, but in a more timid way. The action, so longed for by Shyamalan, left a little to be desired. The spectator may have this feeling because in Glass is easy to notice the dialogs and the explanations are way more developed than antecedent movies. The dialogs are typical from the comics: explanatory and time-consuming, even more in the Mister Glass scenes because he constantly does those typical villains speeches.

Image Source: IMDB 

As the movie rolls, it is very interesting to observe how Mister Glass and Kevin (along with his 24 personalities) complete each other: Elijah’s brilliant mind always needed a strong body and, therefore, the Beast is his ideal complement. However, even with this brilliant partnership and with Samuel El Jackson’s geniality, the script was constructed in a way that the doctor Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), responsible for their treatment, stands out in the movie. Sometimes it is possible to question if the name of the movie should really be Glass. Ellie, during the story, tries to make the three superhumans believe that their are normal people and forget about their special abilities.

Another problem in the movie is that: despite Ellie having a big time of screen, the doctor isn’t a very well developed or deepened character. It seems like the script didn’t have time to construct her and it is sad because what we see is a very talented actress limited by a shallow character.

In the end of the movie there is the very expected fight between the hero, David, and the villain, the Beast. If you expected to much of this scene you will get disappointed. The confrontation doesn’t last long and what we see is a totally limited Punisher against the powerful Beast. Actually, in some moments of the movie it seems like Bruce Willis’s character is out of the scene; it looks like a forgotten character.

David’s fate in the plot is very tragic but also very ironic. Maybe the script didn't also deepened his fate. Another point not explored is the “revolutionary” act that Casey, Elijah’s mother and Joseph (David’s son) do to reveal to the world that superheroes really exist. The three characters seem very proud of it, but if you watch it, I bet you'll agree that is in fact a very simple thing.

Image Source: IMDB 

Finally, Glass is a very interesting story that is worth watching, but perhaps a little less worked than the two other films of the trilogy. The feeling we have is that maybe Unbreakable and Split would have worked better apart from each other. Let's not miss out on Shyamalan's compliments: he created a totally unique universe and knew how to direct the cameras and select the soundtrack perfectly so that the audience can feel the moment of the movie exactly (these features are also present in the first two films). The acting team also offers impeccable acting!