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Pretty much on the money review

In 'Glass' we get ‘exposition ex machina’ - lots and lots of talky insights from the very gods who are supposedly being torn down in front of us.

With expository allusions to impeding catastrophes that lurk beyond the immediate narrative, the result is neither suspenseful nor thrilling. Instead 'Glass' feels like a short track to a cheaper-to-make third act whilst short changing the first two (which essentially rehash the main points of ‘Split’ and ‘Unbreakable’ respectively). So, if your audience missed the first two films, maybe you should ask them to re-watch them? By making the fatal mistake of trying to bring the late-comers up to speed, Shyamalan himself runs out of energy in the final showdown and relies on the same two sleights of hand he’s already used in ‘Unbreakable'. In short, repetition does not a satisfying meal make.

So why the high aggregator scores / the positive buzz then?

Basically that’s down to some canny scheduling (look at the current competition in the cinemas for proof) and the enduring (and deserved) affinity for the characters that Shyamalan created in ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split’. They are indeed interesting characters with decent back stories but ‘Glass’ is a fractured mirror of a movie that only distorts their previous films into what feels like a cheap cash-in. Seriously is the hospital car park the right contrasting backdrop compared to McAvoy’s claustrophobic lair (Split) or Willis’s drowning in a swimming pool tarpaulin (Unbreakable)? Nope, it was just there and it was cheap. The setting had nothing to say about the characters beyond what had already come out of their mouths.

Plunged into such an overcast arena, 'Glass’s' promise drowns in a surfeit of shade where you are just willing the thing to end in the hope that it might leave some of the previous movies’ mystique untouched. It's a sad way to go.

MarkEsper more than 2 years ago

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