Release date: Jan. 18, 2019
Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L. Jackson
Budget: $20 million
Box Office: $40.3 million (opening weekend)
David Dunn and Kevin Crumb are locked in a mental hospital alongside Elijah Price while a psychiatrist sets out to prove they do not actually possess superhuman abilities.
The third film of a trilogy, Glass starts out telling an appealing story only to derail itself in the third act due to Shyamalan’s penchant for supposedly shocking twists. The plot through most of the film is seen in a mental hospital where Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychiatrist who specializes in delusions of grandeur, works to convince the trio they are average people who believe themselves to have superpowers because of previous trauma. Since the other films in the trilogy serve as deconstructions of superheroes and supervillains, this would have made for a fascinating attempt at subverting expectations, toying with what the audience thought they knew throughout the series. However, the point the entire film leads to makes for an underwhelming conclusion containing an introduction coming completely out of nowhere. Had there been inklings within the previous films and some hints in this one, it could have been done well rather than in the unsatisfactory way viewers were given.
Nevertheless, the acting continues to be good with nearly every actor giving noteworthy performances. McAvoy once again commands multiple personalities and the audience sees almost all of the various personas within Crumb. More scenes show them coming out one after the other and he continues to do well in demonstration of each one’s uniqueness. Further, Willis does well in giving weight to Dunn’s character, conveying not only the responsibility he feels as someone who can help people but also the hesitation he experiences when Staple attempts to prove his actions are linked to what happened in the train derailment, making for a good continuation of the character’s personal story.
Further, the cinematography and camerawork assist in making the film interesting to watch even when the pacing is dragging it along. Peppered together with the usual shots are plenty of what the audience originally sees as footage from the mental hospital’s security cameras. At first, it appears to be an intriguing way of breaking up the monotony of the regular shots to make the film more engaging. Yet, the more the film continues, the footage is seen to have direct relevance to the story and Glass’ machinations. This is probably the only gratifying aspect to what was an otherwise mediocre conclusion.
This film is disappointing. It is only worth recommending to those with an investment in the series who are encouraged to lower their expectations.