M. Night Shyamalan is known for his twists. Whether the movie ends up a hit or miss, you can always expect to have your mind bent and your emotions played with at least a few times by the end of a film by him.
Split, which hit theatres a couple years ago, was no exception. The thriller kept viewers on their toes with the edge-of-your-seat plot and James McAvoy’s immaculate acting. By the end of it I was practically out of breath, and as much as I enjoyed the film, the credits hitting the screen triggered a sigh of relief. But Shyamalan had one more rug to pull out from under our feet. In similar fashion to most comic-oriented movies today, he threw in an after-credits scene which revealed Split was actually in the same universe as his other film from much farther back, Unbreakable.
Thus began the anticipation for the end of this unforeseen trilogy: Glass. The wait was definitely worth it.
Now that the initial excitement surrounding Glass has died down and we’ve all moved on from the rather lackluster reviews from critics, this truly was an excellent and fulfilling movie. Shyamalan crafted what was promised, while still managing to exceed expectations and provide some shocks one could only ever expect from such a director.
The cinematography was on point as always, with beautiful, carefully thought out shots begging to be paid attention to. There were so many callbacks, specifically to Unbreakable — from getting to see David Dunn’s son all grown up, to Shyamalan doing a cameo in the same role he did so many years ago in the first film.
Unbreakable was ultimately a character study, focusing on a slow plot that built and gave pay off to those that cared enough to pay careful attention. Split was a completely different beast (get it?) and went full thriller on the audience. It was a fast-paced, nail-biter of a movie, and because of that change in pace and tone, it was so surprising to find out these two films would eventually be connected and combined. Glass took the amazing characters we loved from both, the attention to detail of Unbreakable and the mystery and intensity of Split, and came out as a masterful conclusion.
Of course praise must be given to all the actors in the film. The new characters, mainly Sarah Paulson, added new depths and layers to the movie and really committed to their roles. For those who returned, they gave it their all and no one felt like they were phoning it in. My only complaint falls on Bruce Willis, who I felt was at times a bit stiff in his delivery, but for the most part he returned gracefully as David Dunn.
With that said, the utmost applause must again be given to James McAvoy, who managed to top his performance in Split. You’ve never seen good acting until you watch McAvoy play five or more roles at once all having a coherent conversation that you can follow and tell who’s talking just from his facial expressions. It really is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and McAvoy should most definitely be getting more attention and Academy nods for what he’s done.
There was one thing that seemed to turn a lot of people away: the ending. While I don’t want to go into too much detail for spoilers sake, I will say the ending was certainly a tragedy, at first. Many viewers focused on the initial loss and of course, got angry. However, the ending did everything it needed to do to wrap up this trilogy. Yes it was sad. Trust me, I felt it. But in the end, it allowed our heroes to achieve the goal they’d been striving for since the beginning. In essence, it’s not a tragic ending so much as a bittersweet one which I think is absolutely perfect for such a series of films.
So while Glass hasn’t garnered much critical acclaim, and the ending has split audiences (get that one?), it was the all around perfect end to a really breathtaking and refreshing take on the comic book genre in cinema. It gave pay off to Unbreakable and Split, and crafted an entirely new plot with some of Shyamalan’s best twists to boot. McAvoy and the entire ensemble delivered incredible performances and Glass really will shatter any worries you having going in to your first viewing of it. This is a must see, and really does its job of coming full circle for a truly mind-bending trilogy of movies.
Jackson Horvat is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you agree? Tell Jackson by tweeting him at @horvatjackson.