Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a 2022 American mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Johnson and Ram Bergman. It is the sequel to the 2019 film Knives Out, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as master detective Benoit Blanc as he takes on a new case. The ensemble cast includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista. (Wikipedia)
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Glass Onion continues our love-hate relationship with director Johnson. Knives Out (2019) did much to repair our estimation of Johnson after the debacle of The Last Jedi. Johnson attempts to repeat the Agatha Christie formula in this sequel. For at least two-thirds of the film, Johnson succeeds, keeping the mystery resonating in the viewer’s mind but unfortunately it all falls flat in the final third. Which is a pity cuz the celebrity cast of characters is intriguing, the visuals are stunning and the character interaction rather juicy.
For one thing, the casting of Monáe in Glass Onion is simply wrong. She plays Helen Brand, twin sister of Andi Brand co-founder with Miles Bron (Norton) of Alpha, a technology company. Now, Monáe is a good 15 years younger than Norton – and it shows – so how could she be a contemporary of Norton’s character? That miscasting sticks out like a sore thumb. This is buttressed by the other characters (and actors) being in the same age group as Norton. We believe that a creative decision was compromised in exchange for Monáe’s marketing cache amongst younger viewers.
The third act is virtually one long sequence of exposition amidst flashbacks and different perspectives of previously shown scenes. Tedious and odious, this sequence gets boring very fast and strips the story of all tension whatsoever. Which presumably is Johnson’s attempt to subvert the audience’s expectations once more. Well, it’s all rather clichéd in the end. Add that to Monáe’s miscasting and viewer engagement is nigh impossible.
And what about the climax itself? Suffice to say that the disturbing message was – if the circumstances are not on your side, burn the world down to the ground! Not to mention that the nominal protagonist Benoit Blanc (Craig) sits it out in the denouement! A millennial fantasy, for sure!
Watch now on Netflix.
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