“Glass” was definitely not your average superhero movie. It was way worse.
M. Night Shyamalan’s most recent film is a mashup of two of his most successful movies: “Unbreakable” and “Split.” As hinted at the end of “Split” with a brief cameo appearance by Bruce Willis, “Split” and “Unbreakable” exist in the same universe. In “Glass,” these two worlds finally collide, and characters from both movies finally reveal their connections.
But it’s all just so exhausting.
Shyamalan’s personal take on the recent trend of shoving your characters into one world and profiting massively off of it (I’m looking at you, Marvel) is a two-hour-long block of plot, all for the setup of his trademark twist.
Almost 20 years after the release of “Unbreakable,” David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is busy saving the day and fighting petty criminals using his super-strength and super-judge abilities.
Eventually, he decides to set his sights on, you guessed it, Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy). Despite his 24 personalities, Crumb, even when controlled by “The Beast,” meets his match in Dunn. They battle it out, but before anything is resolved, they are both captured by police.
Now the real storyline begins.
The pair is sent to a mental hospital where they meet up with another central character from “Unbreakable,” Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). A doctor (Sarah Paulson) says the trio are suffering from a mental disorder that leads them to believe they are superhuman, and proceeds to “treat” them.
From there, they all shakily unite to accomplish a common goal: escape, and prove their abilities to the world.
And that’s only the rising action.
The plot of “Glass” is built on stereotypes we’ve all seen before: superhero, mastermind, monster. Shyamalan attempts to excuse this staleness with an acknowledgement of his unoriginality, but proclaiming that your creation is bad doesn’t make it good.
To be fair, the (main) plot twist got me, but possibly because there was absolutely no foreshadowing in any three movies. It’s almost like it was tacked on to up the shock value, yet another Shyamalan trademark.
But wait, there’s more!
From what I could tell, there were a total of three different twists at the end of the movie, all of which pulled the storyline further and further from its origin. The result was a gnarled, 30-minute ending that kept teasing you into thinking it was over.
All three stars of this rating were earned thanks to James McAvoy’s spectacular performance as Kevin. As he flipped from personality to personality on camera, his entire demeanor changed. Even before he began speaking it was possible to tell which personality he was, thanks to his totality of expression.
Overall, McAvoy’s character was the only solace in the sea of pretentious kitsch that was “Glass.” If you need me, I’ll be in bed with whiplash for the next week.