A sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable
and 2016’s Split
, M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass
completes a trilogy that the writer-director had reportedly originally intended before he changed the Unbreakable
script and then made the character he had left out of that film into the subject of Split
Yes, it’s all very meta, and Glass
is a heady (and often hokey) movie that tries too hard to tie together the two movies and launch a new series of films. Screenings of the film commence tonight, and it opens area-wide tomorrow.
Shyamalan effectively creates a good deal of suspense in the film’s first half. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) now works with his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) to seek vengeance on criminals. He goes on “walks” and avenges crimes as the Overseer, a hooded superhero of sorts.
When David learns that Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a man who suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), has a group of cheerleaders held up in a warehouse, he goes to free them. But he meets his match when the Beast, Kevin’s Hulk-like personality, emerges, and their battle ends in a stalemate as the cops arrive on the scene and shuttle them both off to the insane asylum.
At the institution, Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) tries to get inside their heads and tells them that they’re delusional. Superheroes don’t really exist, she says. She’s also locked up Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), the highly intelligent mass murderer from Unbreakable
, and has sedated him to keep him from escaping.
Things come to a head when Elijah works with Kevin to escape, and David must find a way to break out so he can stop them. The film’s climax underwhelms partly because the final battle between Kevin and David comes off as a low-budget production as the two essentially face off in a parking lot.
The movie’s strength stems from McAvoy’s ability to switch personalities so quickly. He steals every scene he’s in.
Predictably enough, the ending also reveals that Dr. Staple is at the heart of a conspiracy against superheroes and has set out to convince the public that these people don’t exist by suppressing them.
At the end, it's also apparent the movie is simply setting up more films. As Elijah says, “This is an origin story.” Too bad it's not a more thrilling origin story.