Many have and will talk about what Glass is. More important is what it isn’t.
Glass, nor it’s quintessential precursors Unbreakable or Split, are concerned with the cavalcade or canon of superhero behemoths to dominate film either before, during or after it’s release. First a sequel to a film that preceded the current glut of franchises, Unbreakable, Split and now Glass render themselves outside and notably bereft of their impact.
Glass is neither concerned unlike, importantly, near every superhero blockbuster, with what you expect or want it to deliver. Preoccupying oneself with such will likely result in disappointment for this welcomely unpredictable thriller.
Picking up soon following the events of Split, James McAvoy’s Kevin/Patricia/Dennis/Hedwig etc are here pursued by Bruce Willis’ hooded vigilante David Dunn. Pitted against each other and too Samuel L. Jackson’s returning comic-obsessive Elijah Price, it’s a showdown, as stated by one character, hordes waited to see.
Preoccupying itself with the fundamental dynamics of many a hero-villain tale, save for much of Glass’ remonstrations being foisted upon Sarah Paulson, here saddled with expository, frequently awkward dialogue, the narrative is delivered to Writer/Director M. Night Shyamalan’s better standards.
Returning to form with The Visit and then Split, the requisite twist together with the bulk of the evolving thriller are well-delivered, with the main cast reprising roles with evident enthusiasm and welcome aplomb, as does Spencer Treat Clark, returning after 19 years in an involving turn as Dunn’s son and now business partner.
Lacking some of the visual creativity which exemplified much of Shyamalan’s earlier work, save a penultimate brawl and one spectacularly memorable sequence where Price is framed in confinement as a light shines upon his ever-dark cell, the emphasis here is overwhelmingly on the story and performances. Permitting oneself to enjoy and absorb these events absent the preconceptions central to Unbreakable’s once commercial banishment and now critical revival, reflective of a change of mind many, this author included, adopted in recent years, will have audiences relishing Glass‘ ensemble all the more.
Lastly and certainly not least, Anya Taylor-Joy too returns to the panoply cast following her highly memorable turn in Split. Here tasked with anchoring Glass’ most central thematic cruxes, she is reliably excellent in a part necessarily emotive to a shocking, blindsiding and ultimately thought-provoking ending that elegantly furthers Unbreakable’s ethos in a manner that, like Shyamalan’s best innovations, you won’t see coming.
Glass is in cinemas now