FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Glass,” which stars Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense, Pulp Fiction), James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Atonement), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight, The Avengers ), Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave, American Horror Story [TV series]), Anya Taylor-Joy (Thoroughbreds, Morgan), Spencer Treat Clark (Gladiator, Mystic River), Charlayne Woodard (The Crucible, Hair), Luke Kirby (Take This Waltz, The Deuce [TV series]), and Adam Taylor Thompson (A Walk Among the Tombstones, Godless [TV series]). It is written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Signs, The Happening ). When David Dunn (Willis), Kevin Crumb (McAvoy), and Elijah Pierce (Jackson) are placed in a correctional facility by Dr. Ellie Staple (Paulson) in order to treat their crazy state of minds, she soon finds out that is was a big mistake.
Leave it up to M. Night Shyamalan to underwhelm expectations. I should’ve been cautious, I should’ve been weary. Maybe I just held out a firm belief that this would be the astounding return to form we as Shyamalan fans wanted. Guys… “Glass” was disappointing. For a climactic, penultimate event that has supposedly been nineteen years in the making, you would figure it to be… well… climactic. You have some of M. Night’s best characters to date coming together and you’d expect something grand, something extraordinary. However, “Glass” is an antithesis of that. While Mr. Shyamalan tries desperately to create twists and turns for the audience members, he leads them astray from what he initially intended to make in the first place: an epic finish to a solid series. I wouldn’t call “Glass” a horrible film, but I would consider it mediocre. There are things it does right, and plenty it does wrong. Let’s dive into this beast, shall we? Well, to start, you gotta give a hand to the actors. They did a phenomenal job. Bruce Willis was awesome, James McAvoy is a genius, and Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t disappoint. It’s pretty much the best combo you can get, which makes me upset the most at how their potential was squandered. I liked the other cast too, though I will say they paled in comparison to these guys. Sarah Paulson had a solid part, as did Anya Taylor-Joy and Spencer Treat Clark, however I wasn’t as invested in them as the main three (obviously). If there was really one true gripe I would have on the casting, it would be of Mr. Glass’s mom (Woodard), who looks to be about the same age as him. Considering how old Mr. Glass is, his mother would be decrepit, but she looks like she’s as youthful as the villain, which came off strange to me. Moving on, the musical score was terrific, as was some of the cinematography. I wouldn’t say all of it was great, mind you, as there were some parts that seemed… meh. Given how talented Shyamalan is and how spectacular some of his films have been when it came to cinematography, I expected a bit more when it came to the shots. Some of the time it came off more serviceable to the scene than artistic and empowering. Not that all shots have to be crazy, but you can tell the difference between a well shot scene and one that just looks to have coverage (one example is in the beginning when Dunn sits down with his son at the computer, where really only two to three basic, dull shots are utilized). Lastly, in terms of what’s good about “Glass,” I’ll say that I could tell the filmmakers tried. There’s clearly a lot on the cutting room floor here; some great sequences, some bad, but all around I could see where Shyamalan wanted to go and how he believed it was the right thing to do. At least he wasn’t just looking to have a cash grab, which I commend him for. Now onto my issues. Mainly, it involves story. Good grief, this has to be the dullest feature out of the three in this… “whatever it is” series. We get some action in the beginning between Dunn (who has been called The Overseer) and the Beast, but after that we are stranded for an hour and a half listening to dialogue that is often sub-par and tries way too hard to be intricate. Like I said earlier, I understand where Shyamalan is coming from. He wants to lead you on a path to make you believe that these people in fact don’t have superpowers, but believe they do. This moment, however, takes until the halfway point after such a long set-up that could’ve been trimmed. I mean, my eyes were glazing over at times guys. No matter what this music did to heighten a scene, it couldn’t help the subject matter. There were moments that were interesting, I’ll admit. The best scene from the first two acts (outside of Dunn fighting the Beast) had to come from Sarah Paulson’s meeting with all three characters. While I wasn’t convinced that they didn’t have powers (you can’t just have them not fight at the end), there was a brief moment where I questioned it, which was a good writing feat for M. Night. Granted, it was one of his very few of the two hour runtime, but I’ll take it. After this meet-up, things take an interesting turn. Going into the third act, the plot escalates rather rapidly then deflates all the more quickly. I couldn’t tell where this thing was going, mainly because it kept changing its mind every few minutes. One minute we’re expecting to have a very superhero-like final standoff, while another minute we’re looking to have a little scuttle to finish it off. I mean, the amount of flip-flopping made for a rather weak final result. One that I won’t spoil for those who haven’t seen it, but will say that it’ll make you frustrated. At least, it made me upset. “Glass” took its pieces and threw them off the board, for reasons unexplained. Why would M. Night throw away something promising for the sake of creating a twist? You got me. All I know is, this was a wasted opportunity that could’ve been so much more. FINAL SCORE: 60%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: