We could be heroes. Just for two-hours.
Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) is a psychiatrist who believes that if superheroes walk among us, just how can they be stopped? She runs a facility that tests these numerous theories and prognosis, and finally finds herself tested when she brings in the Horde (James McAvoy), a man with multiple personalities and is also a danger to society, and then the Overseer (Bruce Willis), who is a seemingly indestructible man with super strength and stamina and can see what evil things people are up to just by coming in contact with them. Seeing as how she’s got the jackpot on her hands, Dr. Staple decides to also pair them with Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), a intelligently evil mastermind who practically created the Overseer and therefore, has become his arch-nemesis. With these three, Dr. Staple hopes to finally rid the world of superheroes and villains once and for all, but in doing so, she’ll have to take expect the worst, especially when you put these three in the same room together.
It seems that with Split a few years ago, we got the old M. Night we all wanted and waited around for for so long. He was intense, edgy, artful, and dare I say it, smart, which aren’t really words you’d describe M. Night and his movies, had you seen the type of junk he’s been putting out in the past decade or so. That said, Split still ended on such an odd note, that it was hard not to feel a little divided by it; sure, you were happy that we’re finally going to get that unofficial sequel to Unbreakable, but doesn’t it also leave a little bit of a sour taste in your mouth that after putting together something so strong and effective, that M. Night still couldn’t help but please himself one more time with tying it all together.
Sure, we get that M. Night can’t do anything without those twists, but did we really need this kind of one?
And well, judging by the reception of Glass, it turns out that we didn’t. However, it seems like Glass has gotten a bad-rap, mainly because the majority may have expected it to be more of the disturbing and torturous nature of Split, and less of the smarmy, somewhat subdued nature of Unbreakable. In a way, Glass is less of an end to a trilogy, but a combination of the two sides and styles of M. Night, which presents a clash throughout the whole two-hour run-time.
And yes, that makes Glass something of a mess, but one that feels like it’s doing something more with itself that’s effective, rather than just throwing everything at the wall and seeing what the hell can stick. For instance, there’s a clear air of tension that’s continuously bubbling throughout, that gives you the impression that something’s going to explode and craziness will ensue. It also helps that, as he showed with Split, there’s a lot of interesting camera-trickery going on with M. Night, who seems to understand how to frame any shot and make it much more tense than it has any right to be.
Sometimes, it helps to be a good director, even when you’re working with weak-material.
But of course, it’s the story where Glass really suffers because, as expected, there’s so much going on and only so much time to devote to each and every little piece. For example, we get the backstory to each of these characters; a supporting-character from their past to help get them back down to reality and also give them more background; discussions of their origin-stories, their strengths, their weakness; constant references to Philadelphia; constant references to Unbreakable; constant references to Split; and oh yeah, M. Night himself taking up five-minutes of screen-time for no real reason.
So yeah, it’s a bit of a jumble and to put all of this into one movie, no matter the length, it’s hard to pull-off. M. Night barely gets away with it all, because he’s clearly building everything up to an explosive final-act, but even then, he seems to go a little overboard. It’s as if the old tendencies of M. Night were still there, but the newer, slightly more abrasive version of him kept coming back to fight his old-self and he just couldn’t control those urges to let loose a bit.
Perhaps, he’s more of a Patricia than we thought.
Consensus: With so much going on and so many needs to fulfill, Glass becomes a bit of a jumble that’s constantly figuring itself out, even if watching all of that play-out can still be entertaining and a little tense.
6.5 / 10
Photos Courtesy of: Universal Pictures