Movie Review: Glass
by Nick Hernandez
Glass, released on January 19th, concluded the 19-year-long trilogy created by actor and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.
The movie was received very poorly and many critics went as far as saying that the finale was disappointing. Their overall consensus on Rotten Tomatoes showed a rating of 36 percent, while audience approval was much higher, receiving a 76 percent instead.
Shyamalan’s three-part series follows characters who on the outside look like the average man, but are revealed to possess superhuman abilities. From his first film ‘Unbreakable’ in 2000, Shyamalan attempted to create a narrative that relied on comic history and the looming possibility of heightened powers far surpassing man.
He went even further 17 years later when ‘Split’ debuted, showcasing a man with 24 personalities, where among them a Beast lies. This film’s ending presented the first glimpse at the Beast, a creature that is part animal and part man, all of which defy nature. Finally, ‘Glass’ unveils a mastermind with a superior intellect, and a plot, pitting the two strong men against each other.
Glass begins with a introduction into the main characters lives’ in the present day. ‘Unbreakable’ protagonist David Dunn works as a vigilante of sorts, providing justice for those would never receive it from the Law. He and his son are tasked with figuring out who has been kidnapping and murdering female high school students.
At this point, the audience is introduced to Kevin Crumb, the multi-personality star of 2017’s ‘Split.’ He has captured another group of students and awaits the Beast’s arrival for their sacrifice.
After some time, David Dunn locates the warehouse where the girls are being kept and sets them free, however this is after the Beast has emerged from Kevin and the two battle for the first time. Both use brute strength and try to overpower the other, but before a clear winner can be determined proper authorities arrive on the scene and stop the two from causing any more damage.
David and Kevin are taken to a mental institution where they are greeted by Dr. Ellie Staple. Her purpose in this movie is to convince these men that they do not have super powers, and that all they believe in is a hoax. Dr. Staple also has a third patient who she must treat, Elijah Glass who is arguably the smartest man alive. Elijah’s plan within the movie revolves around allowing the world to witness the truth about superheroes and their existence. Glass, being as smart as he is, is constantly monitored by the staff along with a multitude of cameras both within and surrounding the building. In essence it should be impossible for Elijah to carry out his plan but he still manages to do so. After two days of being in the facility, Dr. Staple hosts a meeting between all three men where she is able to bring about heavy doubt in the minds of Kevin and David as they start to believe their powers are anything but real.
That night, Elijah’s plan gears into motion when he meets with Kevin to discuss the possibility of having the Beast fight David Dunn once again. Kevin agrees and they carry on to the next day where Elijah frees Kevin from his room, and they begin to break out of the institution. Before leaving, Mr. Glass talks to David through an intercom and tells of his plan to blow up a building with thousands of people inside it. The only way for David to stop this is by breaking out of his cell, defeating the Beast and ultimately proving the existence of superheros.
In an effort to avoid spoilers, the ending and all that is revealed will be kept out, but it should be noted that what takes place at the end of film is quite interesting and deserves a visit to the theaters to see what is unveiled. In terms of the overall quality and performance of the movie, it fairs quite well. In this aspect it should have been rated much higher, however what should be taken into account is the storytelling and the plot which slowly is revealed as the movie goes on.
Looking at this from a critical perspective, there are instances in which the film might seem confusing or lackluster and without prior knowledge or having seen the other movies of the franchise it may be difficult for the viewer to understand what is taking place.