M. Night Shyamalan’s latest film, Glass, hit the theaters and finished up the Unbreakable trilogy. Though the film had a lot to offer, critics are complaining that the ending was anticlimactic.
Though the ending is the main problem among viewers and critics, the true problem was the fact there was such a long build-up to basically nothing. The first hour of the movie is spent with seemingly endless exposition, so the audience can catch up on the first two movies from the trilogy.
It’s true that if the exposition wasn’t as severe, people wouldn’t have understood as much of the ending, but it begs the question: Why did people see the last film in the trilogy if they hadn’t seen the first two? It’s understandable to need a refresher on the information, but the exposition was ridiculously drawn out.
One of the best aspects of the film that made the dragged-out exposition worth it was the use of scenes from the original film in the trilogy, Unbreakable. Throughout the film, the old scenes were used as flashbacks and even explanatory instances having to do with Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) being the one behind the train crash.
It was interesting to watch Shyamalan incorporate the scenes, making the transition in camera quality surprisingly smooth, seeing as the two movies were shot 19 years apart. The scenes also served as great emotional stirrers, bringing a slight jerk of emotion between the age difference of Spencer Treat Clark, who portrayed David Dunn’s (Bruce Willis) son, Joseph, in both Unbreakable and Glass.
There’s no doubt the male trifecta of Willis, James McAvoy and Jackson gave incredible performances. It takes a special kind of actor to reinvent roles they performed 19 years ago, and Willis and Jackson were just as incredible to watch now as they were back then. That’s not to mention Jackson’s added performance boundary of being “sedated” in the film, so for the first hour of the movie he was relatively silent and relied on only movements and expressions to portray his character.
It’s also important to give recognition to Sarah Paulson, who played Dr. Ellie Staple, the true villain of the movie. Paulson always gives her best to performances, but she held her own as a new addition to characters that had already made their marks in the trilogy.
Though Willis, Jackson and Paulson all had enjoyable performances, special praise is in order for McAvoy’s performance.
McAvoy — who portrayed Kevin Wendell Crumb among 23 other personalities in Split and Glass — deserves the biggest of praise. Every moment McAvoy was on screen was truly captivating.
Not only did McAvoy have to portray 24 different characters throughout one film, but there were many instances in Glass where McAvoy had to switch between alter egos in a matter of seconds. Whenever McAvoy’s character tried to escape his room, Paulson’s character would turn on a bright light that would force McAvoy to switch alters, and he was able to portray 24 different people with different personalities, accents and actions. Not only is it impressive to see his talent and emotional depth, but it’s so impressive to watch him switch between people within seconds, all in one shot, without any editing.
Perhaps the most confusing part of the movie is the relationship between Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Kevin. At first, their connection seemed to make sense and seemed to be a sweet way to incorporate Taylor-Joy into the film. But when taking another thought and a closer look at the friendship and connection between the two, it looks like a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome, or when a victim of a kidnapping feels a sense of love or affection for their captor.
The argument has been made that, due to Kevin’s dissociative identity disorder, he and Casey were both prisoners of the same identities and were both abused as children, so they can relate in a way. However, for anyone to argue that Stockholm Syndrome is not at play in Casey’s immediate love and advocating gestures for the man who kidnapped her and literally ate two of her friends, is just ridiculous.
All in all, Glass was not a bad film, and certainly not deserving of the criticism it’s receiving. There are definitely ways the film could’ve been improved, but the ending was certainly not as bad as critics are making it seem. The cast was stellar and their performances were captivating, and the film offered a lot of tear-jerking moments. Glass has a lot to offer the audiences, especially those who have followed the trilogy.