Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Written by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson
Years after the events on Unbreakable, sees David Dunne (Bruce Willis) running around as a vigilante where he encounters Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) and his multiple personalities after he kidnaps a group of cheerleaders. Their fight draws attention and they both get captured by an unknown group of people and are detained in a hospital. Little do they know that along with them in hospital resides another patient named Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), who has been there for years now. Bringing these three together in a confined space could only end well, that’s for sure.
The formation of this film along with Unbreakable and Split must be commended, as the way M. Night Shyamalan brought all of the characters together is remarkable. As a man known for his twists, this one might have been the greatest of them all. The way he quietly threaded together these storylines show that he thinks far ahead as a filmmaker.
James McAvoy delivers yet another exquisite performance much like in Split with most of the acting happening through his facial expressions. He had the tough task of trying to portray many different personalities and the only way to truly distinguish them would be through his face and the voices he employed. He brought that excellence with him once again for Glass and stood out as its brightest spot. Watching him interact with both Mr. Glass and David Dunn became quite the treat, as both Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis both gave rather subdued performances.
One of the major plot points of this film revolves around the idea that these three men are held captive because of their delusion of grandeur. Basically, the idea that these three men believe they possess superhuman abilities when they do not. As audience members that have seen the films leading up to this one, we know that these individuals have some sort of power, but Dr. Staple (Sarah Paulson) attempts to convince them otherwise. It plays on the fear of someone needing to prove their sanity with no definitive way of demonstrating it. An idea played into within Steven Soderbergh’s Unsane. These three men must endure physical and mental hardships until the doctors supervising them convince them of their delusions or they die.
As with any Shyamalan film, a twist emerges, which became the worst part of Glass despite me enjoying some of the film’s other aspects. Obviously, its details will not be revealed in this review, but it truly deflates the story and makes what happened beforehand feel rather cheap and unearned. It makes me believe that Shyamalan needed to have a twist because this trademark made him stand out even to the more casual moviegoers, rather than it being beneficial to the plot. The Sixth Sense is a great film and the twist at the very end elevated it to iconic levels and ever since then, Shyamalan has been attempting to keep that intrigue with the audiences. However, instead of enhancing his films, the twists have become something audience members expect rather than organically happening through his stories. As I watched this film, I sat there waiting for the hammer of the twist to drop and upend everything I just watched. I believe it takes away from the viewing experience and this film could have done without it.
Despite many of its faults, I landed positively on this film because I do love the ideas behind it. The film speaks on letting loose one’s truth and reaching the potential we all have despite our abilities. Mr. Glass can overcome his obstacles and outwit anyone and doesn’t let his physical disability get in the way. The climax of the film played out very well until the twist, and James McAvoy was tremendous once again. It definitely will not land with everyone but I enjoyed these characters and the convergence of their stories.