Written by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr.
Hollywood brings us films that can be classified as lighting in a bottle where something works because of a collection of wonderful things colliding at once that simply cannot be replicated. The long list of sequels that fall far below the success of the originals very much proves that idea. When it comes to Rian Johnson and his follow-up to the ridiculously successful Knives Out, he proves there’s still plenty he can do with his central character and he strikes once again with a hilarious and luscious production.
Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a famous tech billionaire invites his very successful friends to his private island to celebrate and partake in a fun murder mystery. Also invited is famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who finds himself in quite the rut as of late and sees the challenge brought on by this invitation to this island that tickles his fancy as he steps into a brand new case.
Rian Johnson continues proving he is one of the most brilliant contemporary filmmakers out there as he steps into stories of all sizes and manages to make them fantastic pieces of work. With the first Knives Out film, he steps into the murder mystery genre with a bang and he created something that could keep going for as long as he and Daniel Craig want to and I definitely hope they do because this follow-up effort with Glass Onion proves to be another incredible addition to Benoit Blanc’s mysteries and this feature adds different piercing and heavily entertaining jabs.
Much of what gets poked fun at in this feature comes from the ideas of disruptors. Individuals or companies that come into a space and drastically change the game through radical innovation. Something seen in various industries around the world and the different individuals involved here have done so in some area of their line of work, but they all connect and come back to Miles Bron. An individual, who stays out in the periphery and with the opening sequence of the feature presents himself as an utter genius of epic proportions. He gathers everyone to his private island for this luscious getaway and most of the themes revolve around him and what he represents. It’s nice to see Edward Norton get something great to work with and he definitely does well here with this arrogant character.
As one can expect with any film starring Benoit Blanc, not everything is as it appears in the story with many twists and turns on the horizon. The very inclusion of Blanc into this story comes with its own twist and you can ever truly see where this film is going. From the large reveals to the overall resolution of the feature. Johnson does a great job holding his cards close to the vest only to reveal the master plan all along. These elements work so well and it gives each of these characters a moment to shine.
Every murder mystery needs a star cast to make the suspects that much more alluring and Johnson has assembled yet another stellar group of actors to bring these ridiculous characters to life. It has now become a fun game to predict who the next ones to be cast will be. Judging by the tone of this feature and the hilarious performances but on during these stories, the possibilities are endless. Filled with incredible actors, the stand out of this feature undoubtedly proved to be Janelle Monáe and the tremendous work they do both on the comedic and dramatic side. However, Johnson does a splendid job giving each actor a moment to display why they were brought on to this feature with no one having more fun with the opportunity presented than Kate Hudson. An actor who has struggled to pick good projects for the majority of her career, but she has proved through her portrayal of Birdie Jay that when she gets the proper script and direction she can absolutely thrive. Pretty much everything coming out of her mouth in this feature caused a chuckle at the very least, which pretty much falls in line with what Birdie Jay represents. The sweatshop joke alone solidifies the brilliant comedic chops of Kate Hudson.
However, with all that being said, Daniel Craig owns this film just like the last one. His delivery as Benoit Blanc is world-class from the southern drawl to the way he stands, everything he does absolutely works. Certain lines get delivered in a way I’m sure no other actor could present in a more hilarious manner. For as much as Craig has been known for being Bond and how much that has dominated his filmography, very soon Benoit Blanc could be his defining character, and rightfully so because he delivers some exceptional work here.
With larger stakes involved, a more luscious environment, and even more ridiculous characters, Glass Onion may not reach the absurd quality of its predecessor but it proves to be a complete blast. Plenty of twists and reveals that you do not see coming and injected with social commentary about the evils of worshipping humans as gods, which happens far too often in our times. Incredibly smart, as can be expected and it solidifies that the gravy train should keep going with Johnson and Craig as they have not failed yet.