Usually I can tell the premise of any film in an enthusiastic or at least neutral tone even if it’s a film I hated. That’s because most of the time any film can be stripped down to a promising idea even if it gets ruined in execution. However, this is probably the first time that the execution makes me question whether the premise was good in the first place. I mean, I loved the idea when I first saw it in the trailer. A philosophical question and a long history behind 3 rich characters. Huge potential in the hands of a director who had shown great capabilities before and is now coming from a huge success. How can it be presented so superficially and naively? One answer can be the breathless race to a great moment of climax. It happens a lot and has happened recently in films like Infinity War or Red Sparrow. A filmmaker knows he has a magnificent moment written towards the end and he gets blinded by it. He jumps drama, emotions and sometimes logic to get to it because he knows it will be redeeming and rewarding, but in this case the jumps cannot be forgiven and the climax is a disaster.
Events of “Glass” take place 3 weeks after the events of “Split” and 19 years after the events of “Unbreakable”. We start with David Dunn who has been fighting crime using his abilities with the help of his son, Joseph. Their target is now “The Horde” after knowing of his crimes at the end of “Split”. They track him down and Dunn confronts him only for the two to be apprehended by the authorities. They are both sent to the same mental institution where Elijah Price, or Mr. Glass, has been kept since the events of “Unbreakable”, and the three become subjected to sessions with Dr. Ellie Staple where she tries to convince them that they’re not really superheroes, and that every single power they showed has a scientific explanation. So will our heroes lose faith in their identity?!
To be honest the film started up fine, it was great to catch up to Dunn and see that his life progressed balancing happiness and tragedy. The Horde’s next steps are logic and Dunn’s quest after him is super logic. There was a problem though and it’s the easy transition of The Horde into The Beast. It made feel cheated out of an obvious M Night Shyamalan signature slow burn moment, and I started feeling worried that the biggest problem of this film is that it won’t be thrilling like I expected it to be .. Innocent times!
What followed next is the most organized chaos I’ve ever seen in my life. A wagon carrying dramatic garbage advancing on rails at a constant pace to reach a destination where nobody ever wanted to go. Our characters must cross roads even if it’s totally unnecessary. Each of the characters must have a significant other who cares about him even if one of them should never really care. We spend a reasonable deal of time showing off the security of this facility only for the events to escalate through its huge holes. Holes that could’ve been avoided by two extra employees! And holes that makes us sure that security of the facility was showcased for a whole other purpose. Thus minimizing any opportunity for the audience to be surprised or shocked or even thrilled. This is the least thrilling thriller of all time. The only time I felt worried or tense was during a flashback!
The few scenes where our characters should’ve been in real danger were ruined by the trailer. I know that they’ll be alright because I have seen them in other scenes in the trailer .. how dumb can this be? And all of this is nothing compared to how silly the ending sequence is. It felt like the directorial short film debut of an independent filmmaker who should never be allowed to make another film. Super cheap, super cheesy and devoid of any logic. With every decision each character makes I couldn’t help but think .. should this really be his priority right now? How can the other characters let him do this? Why is he listening? What is this nonsense? I need to see the manager please!
Glass is not just a bad film it’s an insult to Unbreakable and Split. I really tried to see Unbreakable again after this film and I couldn’t. This whole experience makes me doubt the whole concept of creative freedom. It makes me believe that any creative mind needs the boundaries of corporate awareness to really succeed. Because M. Night Shyamalan seems to deliver his best work when he’s under the full control of studios, while when he’s fresh out of success and has some degree of faith in his abilities, he gives us “Glass”. A film that I think can only be watched for its first 20 minutes and for the performances of James McAvoy and Samuel Jackson. Even Bruce Willis wasn’t given a chance to perform Also maybe for the comic books projections, which can be seen as a small redemption or the reason why this whole thing fell apart.