I’ve got to stop seeing movies in January, 3.5 readers. I really do.
BQB here with a review of Glass.
It’s funny how things come around full circle. Nineteen years ago, I saw M. Knight Shyamalan’s Unbreakable and thought it was a ridiculous pile of crap. Nearly two decades later, the literally waited for by no one sequel is equally crappy.
Hollywood types have got to start asking themselves a key question – just because they CAN make a movie, does it mean they should? No, I get the free speech argument. I’m not telling them to not make a shitty movie if that is their desire. I also get that shit is in the eye of the beholder. Overall though, I just wonder if there is limited time and money to make a movie, then maybe a movie maker should make a good movie rather than a shitty one. Worse, maybe take a risk on a movie with a good idea but no history rather than slap together a pile of crap because it has characters who were in the pile of crap years ago and now making endless sequels to everything, no matter how crappy, is the vogue thing to do.
Poor. M. Knight. I’m really going to take a dump on this movie. But the twist is that I’m going to pee on it too.
Ironically, 2016’s Split was good…and also a January movie. I wrote on this fine blog that perhaps it was the start of a Shyamalanassaince. It was a decent, scary part-horror/part-thriller/part-mystery about a shrink working with the so-called good personalities of a schizophrenic to defeat an incoming monstrous personality.
Top notch, Knight. Shoulda stopped there. Take the win. Move on.
Alas, Knight (because I refuse to write Shama…malamalama…whatever…a hundred more times) doubled down. He decided to pit James McAvoy’s “Split” character against the Bruce Willis character, with evil assistance from the Samuel L. Jackson character, both from Unbreakable.
Though in the ending of Split, it looked like a movie in which Willis’ indestructible vigilante, David Dunn, hunts “The Beast” i.e. the worst of “The Horde” or the collective name for all of McAvoy’s character’s personalities, it turns out to have been a shitty idea.
There’s little hunt to be had. Instead, Dunn, Horde and Glass find themselves in the same looney bin. A shrink (Sarah Paulson as Dr. Ellie Staple) arrives on the scene, claiming to be the world’s foremost expert on convincing screwballs to stop believing they are comic book super heroes…because apparently, that’s a real, legit thing that people study…that or no one in Hollywood wants to tell Knight no.
Dr. Staple subjects the trio to all manner of experiments, drilling it into them that their so-called powers are not real but rather, anything extraordinary they have done is just pure coincidence. The Beast isn’t really strong. He just managed to push away some jail bars that were rotting. David isn’t really indestructible. He has just been really lucky in avoiding death thus far. And Mr. Glass may be smart, but so are other people, and his gift really just lies in talking chumps into thinking he’s a genius.
There are way too many logical leaps you have to take. With three highly infamous nutjobs all under one roof, the mental hospital has ridiculously lax security. Allusions are made to a showdown at a new, state of the art tower but the trio never get past a show down in the nut house parking lot.
Overall, it’s dumb. Just plain dumb. It’s cool that Spence Treat Clarke, Dunn’s son from the first film, is back and all grown up as his father’s assistant in vigilante crime fighting. In fact, the first twenty minutes of the film make it look like a real treat – that Willis is going to track this psycho through the streets of Philly with the help of his son. Alas, it just gets dumb after that. Pure dumbness.
STATUS: Not shelf-worthy. Seeing this and Serenity in the same weekend just makes me weep for Hollywood’s future. I feel like Knight shot himself in the foot here, because Split was good, but rather than just take the win and think of a whole new idea, he did the old “Let me take a part of a movie that people liked and put it with a part of a movie that people might remember and serve it up like a three bean casserole and hey, it has a bit of recognizability so maybe people will see it.” Ugh. Please don’t see it. Stop encouraging Knight. I know he’s got talent. He just has to stop chasing that twist dragon. He got on it with The Sixth Sense and then he never let it go. He thinks he’s going to outdo his past twists and he never will. Knight, really, it’s ok. You can make a story that does not have a twist. In fact, a movie from you without a twist? That would be the greatest twist of all.