It has been nineteen years since Bruce Willis emerged as the sole survivor of a horrific train crash in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable. Somehow, Willis’s character David Dunn was unaware that he was a superhero with super strength, but as I recall, it was a pretty good movie.
In 2016’s Split we were introduced to the two-dozen personalities of the main character whose name is, well, he has two-dozen names. His 24th personality is a psychopathic superhero called The Beast (James McAvoy), who is out to kill several young girls. It was also a pretty good movie.
It seems that M. Night Shyamalan felt compelled to produce a trilogy rather than just leave well enough alone. Two good movies do not a third guarantee.
Glass is the final chapter in this triad. At least, it should be. The main characters all meet very ordinary ends. Who knew that holding a superhero’s face in a sidewalk puddle is all it takes to destroy him. Yep, that’s the end of David Dunn.
And all you have to do is wait until The Beast is in one of his non-bulletproof personalities to take your shot. Bye bye Beast.
Mr. Glass, the very breakable evil genius played by Samuel L. Jackson is otherwise known as Elijah Price. He spends almost the entire film trying to convince us that he’s not faking his drug-induced zombie-like sedated self. But of course he is. Surprise! And one hard shove is all it takes to shatter him like…glass.
By now we know that a surprise in the form of a climactic mind-bending plot twist is M. Night Shyamalan’s trademark. Unfortunately we now expect to be surprised, so it had better be good. But how can it be when you know it’s coming? The bar continues to rise, and M. Night continues to fall short.
I won’t reveal the twist here, but when it is revealed the viewer finds himself asking, “Is that it? Seriously?” Well, ok.
There was almost no plot in Glass. Three quarters of the very long 129 minutes you’ll never get back is spent building toward an eventual escape from the psychiatric facility run by a woman who looks like Kristen Wiig’s humorless red-headed sister, Ellie Staple, played by Sarah Paulson. She tries to convince the superheroes that they are not at all super.
Along comes Casey Cooke, played by Anya Taylor-Joy. She is the only girl released by The Beast in Split. She must have survivor’s syndrome, or didn’t feel that Tinder was an effective enough means of finding the perfect psychopath.
If you saw the first two films in this series and really enjoy the characters, perhaps you’ll appreciate this reunion. Otherwise, go to a movie that features more conventional superheroes – the ones who wear cool costumes.