By James Davidson
“Glass” is the final installment in M. Knight Shyamalan’s trilogy where superheroes exist in the real world. Preceded by “Unbreakable” and “Split”, “Glass” follows David Dunn (played by Bruce Willis) as he uses his supernatural tracking abilities and almost superhuman strength to track down Kevin Wendell Crumb (played by James McAvoy). Crumb is a serial killer with a severe case of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or multiple personalities. One of his personalities is referred to as “The Beast” and possesses abilities that resemble a wild animal.
Both Dunn and Crumb are captured by a psychologist and taken to a mental facility to try to convince them that they are delusional and not really superheroes/supervillains. While in the mental facility, Dunn learns that his arch-nemesis, Mr. Glass (played by Samuel L. Jackson) is also imprisoned with them. Mr. Glass suffers from a rare disorder that causes his bones to break from the slightest of touches, but he also possesses incredible intellect that allows him to create elaborate plans and outsmart his opponents.
I’ve seen both of the other movies in this trilogy and was very excited for this one to come out. I find it interesting how Shyamalan created a world in which superheroes are grounded in reality. None of them have unbelievable powers. All of their “powers” can be explained away if you try hard enough. In fact that is exactly what the psychologist who is “treating” them tries to convince them of. But they all believe that they are extraordinary and put here for a purpose.
.This movie focuses a lot on the psychological side of these characters and because of that there is a lot of exposition. I thought the movie got a little dull in the middle of the story. There was some action at the beginning and a great fight scene between Dunn and Crumb at the end, but the second act is almost entirely dialogue and was a little dry. It is important to pay attention to every little detail though, because as in most Shyamalan movies, everything happens for a purpose and you won’t find out what that is until the end.
If you haven’t seen “Unbreakable” or “Split”, I suggest that you see these before seeing “Glass”. A lot of what happens in “Glass” is pertinent to your knowledge of the characters and the world built by Shyamalan in the previous two movies. I would have liked to see this movie stand alone a little more and not rely on knowledge of the previous two as much, since it has been a while since I’ve seen the preceding films and had forgotten some details.
The acting in “Glass” is fantastic. McAvoy, Willis, and Jackson do an excellent job reprising their roles and are a pleasure to watch bring these complex characters to life. McAvoy, specifically, had the challenging job of not playing just one character, but 23 characters stuck in the same body. He does an amazing job portraying all of the characters, all of whom are different ages, genders, and even nationalities
“Glass” is rated PG-13 for violence, including bloody images, thematic elements, and language. It contains a lot of adult themes and is much too mature for young moviegoers. This movie is definitely made for fans of the previous films, although it will hopefully introduce a new audience to this underrated trilogy.
“Glass” is a great continuation of a complex world built by M. Knight Shyamalan. It can be monotonous in places, but if you enjoy this series, it is a must-see. If you have never seen the preceding films then hopefully this will introduce you to these cult classics that are a fresh take on the superhero genre and of course has that classic Shyamalan twist at the end. “Glass” earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.