An Unbreakable Trio
Acting as a sequel to both Unbreakable and Split, Glass is a fascinating psychological journey into the minds of three unique individuals. Those going into this expecting an abundance of action and superhero antics akin to that seen in DC and Marvel films are sure to be left disappointed. With the exception of Elijah’s exposition regarding different stages of a superhero plot, Glass is a surprisingly thought-provoking film, one that takes a bold risk with its finale that’s sure to polarize viewers. The lack of screen time for Bruce Willis is a little disappointing given the build up to this film but James McAvoy steals the show again with another amazing performance that more than makes up for this shortfall.
The story begins some time after the events of Split. Kevin Wendell Crumb is up to his old tricks, with all 23 personalities he carries with him relying on their messiah, The Beast. When bodies begin to stack up and a pattern emerges, David Dunn arrives back on the scene, using his supernatural powers to try to track down the unhinged individual. As the two look set to duel, Dr. Ellie Staple intervenes and, with a team of highly trained security guards, escorts the two men to a nearby psychiatric ward. From here, the film slows in pace as she psycho-analyses both characters, trying to rationalize with their conditions. It’s at this point where we’re introduced to wheelchair-bound Elijah, who acts as the mastermind behind a plan to break out of the ward and show the world their powers, all the while doubting themselves and whether this is all a figment of their own imaginations.
Despite an overwhelming amount of talking and discussion regarding the various powers of each of the three men, Glass maintains its psychologically charged tension throughout the film. This is a slow, methodically paced journey into the mind of extraordinary beings and if that doesn’t sound like something very exciting to you, you’re best off giving Glass a miss. Part of the allure comes from seeing Dr Ellie rationalize and reason with the three men, attempting to show them their powers are simply figments of their imagination. This, coupled with Kevin juggling his personalities as each wrestle for “the light”, make Glass a fascinating but somewhat controversial film.
Thankfully the acting of the three lead stars is fantastic. Bruce Willis’ cold demeanor works surprisingly well alongside McAvoy’s extravagant, boisterous personalities. Acting as the anchor weight between these two characters is Elijah’s alter-ego Mr Glass whose intelligent, rational voice explains the method behind the madness. As mentioned earlier, the superhero monologue segments are a little jarring but given the theme of the film and the way comic books feature here, it’s at least a little forgiving that the film takes such a heavy-handed approach to exposition.
If you can go into this one with an open mind and accept this isn’t a 2 hour film chock full of action and a formulaic good VS evil plot, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by this one. While some may see Glass as a superhero film, it feels much closer to psychological thriller territory and reviewing this in that genre instead, makes Glass a much more forgiving film to watch. There are issues of course, clumsy dialogue and forced exposition not withstanding, but there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless, but it’s also one that’s likely to garner split opinions.