Another uproariously fun murder mystery from Rian Johnson
If there will be one lasting quote from Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Rian Johnson’s dazzling sequel to his 2019 murder mystery, it’s likely a catchy one from Daniel Craig’s recurring character. “It’s a dangerous thing,” Detective Benoit Blanc warns, “to mistake speaking without thought for speaking the truth.” Blanc’s t-shirt-worthy indictment is directed at one person in particular, but like Knives Out, Glass Onion is full of rich assholes who could take note of the biting criticism.
A condemnation of hierarchical wealth culture and the barrage of loud opinions that come from within it, Johnson’s thrilling drama revolves around an invitation to solve the “murder” of Miles Bron (Edward Norton), an Elon-Musk-type billionaire and co-founder of tech company Alpha. Miles is a self-proclaimed “disruptor,” lauded by his followers as a truth-teller and a genius. Leveraging his mountainous wealth, he holds his loyal friends and fellow disruptors in the palm of his hand.
Of those invited to Miles’ vacation home to solve the mystery of his “death,” there’s his head scientist at Alpha, Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), under intense pressure from his boss to rush development of supposedly groundbreaking technology; Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), who depends on Miles’ support for her Senate campaign; Men’s rights social media activist Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) and his arm candy Whiskey (Madelyn Cline); and former model Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), whose assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick) can barely keep her out of trouble.
But if anyone is truly disrupting the group’s vacation weekend to Miles’ private island, it’s two surprise guests. Both Detective Blanc and Miles’ partner in founding Alpha, Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), received invitations–but Blanc is the first outsider to join their yearly getaway, and Andi wasn’t expected to heed Miles’ call, given his betrayal in cutting her out of their company.
When the murder mystery game Miles has planned turns into an actual murder, everyone is suspect in the delightfully twisty “whodunnit” plot to follow. Each member of an exceedingly talented (if somewhat under-utilized) cast has a part to play. Especially captivating is Craig’s portrayal of superintelligence and southern charm, as well as Monáe’s air of mystery and Mona-Lisa smile.
Like the glass onion atop Miles’ vacation home, the Knives Out sequel is both intricately layered and deceptively simple. The way Johnson pulls the rug from under us is uproariously fun and clever, in ways I can’t do justice describing without spoiling the best of Glass Onion’s twists.
As much as it is a murder mystery, Glass Onion is also a lesson in the lengths society will go to in order to make excuses for the wealthy, particularly those who are as loud as they are rich–”a dangerous thing,” indeed. The indictment in the movie’s reveal is simple, and though it’s a convoluted, almost-kitschy journey in getting there–it’s ultimately an incredibly satisfying and entertaining take-down to witness.
Read More: Glass Onion Ending Explained
Verdict - 9/10