TL;DR – While it took a long time to get started, it triumphed when it found its voice.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to watch this film
Glass Onion Review –
It is no secret that I love the first Knives Out film, one of those rare films that improve with each rewatch. It waltzed onto the screen full of pomp and circumstance before subverting the whodunit genre. It could have worked perfectly as a stand-alone film. It would have been satisfactory to quit while you were ahead. But to be honest, I always wanted to jump back into this world, and I am glad we did.
So to set the scene, one day, Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) all received a mysterious parcel in the mail. It is from reclusive billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a long-time friend and controversial figure. The box invited everyone to a murder mystery, his murder, in Greece. But when everyone turns up at the dock, surprisingly, there is a Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) there as well. Even more surprising is that Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe) also arrives. Because Andi was just betrayed by everyone, publicly, and well the stage is set for murder.
Before I start, I should mention that I inadvertently viewed The Menu before watching Glass Onion. I say this because both films dabble in the same space, with many unlikable rich people, making me dislike them passionately. However, they come to VERY different resolutions to that situation, and I have to say I think The Menu coloured how I viewed the film. This means you can think of this review as a tentative entry until I have watched it again with a bit more space.
I need to give full credit to the casting director because it would have been difficult to cast a second film with new members with an ordinary movie, but Knives Out’s cast was ridiculously good. Thankfully I think they have almost outdone themselves here with a lineup you would practically dream about. Edward Norton was delightful as the smarmy dudebro tech billionaire with more money than sense. Dave Bautista is uncomfortably good as the men-rights activist, but it was good to see him play a character so far away from others as he has done in the past. I can watch Kathryn Hahn in anything, and here is no exception. Janelle Monáe must be the MVP here, and it is a bit hard to explain why without getting into spoilers, but she delights from start to finish. Oh, and of course, Daniel Craig was great, but you already knew that was going to be the case from the first film.
Then there was the setting, with an almost 180-degree shift from Knives Out, instead of moody New England, full of overcast days and excellent knitwear. We are in the blistering brightness of the Aegean Sea on a private Greek island. The harsh light of the aquatic Sun leads very little to hide. It feels like half of the film was shot on an actual resort in the Mediterranean and the rest in elaborate sets full of glass and reflections [my sympathies to the film crew]. It is a striking set in its own right, but how it is incorporated into the narrative elevates it.
However, where things did not work as well for me was the very mystery the film was based on. Glass Onion took a long time to get going. I like when films take the time to set the scene and build their world. However, it did feel like there was a point where the film needed to step into gear, and while that did eventually happen, it was late in the day. That being said, when that turn happens, it is like a whole new film as the chaos explodes.
In the end, do we recommend Glass Onion? Yes, yes, we do. While I don’t think it hit the same heights as the first film, it was still a delightful romp once it got started. If you liked Glass Onion, we would recommend to you The Dry.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Glass Onion
Directed by – Rian Johnson
Written by – Rian Johnson
Music by – Nathan Johnson
Cinematography by – Steve Yedlin
Edited by – Bob Ducsay
Production/Distribution Companies – T-Street & Netflix
Starring – Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline & Noah Segan with Jackie Hoffman, Dallas Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Hugh Grant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Stephen Sondheim, Angela Lansbury, Natasha Lyonne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Yo-Yo Ma, Jake Tapper & Serena Williams
Rating – Australia: M;