Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities.
M. Night Shyamalan sprung a surprise on audiences with his last feature ‘Split’, revealing in its conclusion that the events portrayed occurred in the same universe as his earlier film ‘Unbreakable’, leading us on to an unlikely trilogy that concludes with ‘Glass’. This film brings the characters of both those previous films together and locks them in a mental hospital under the guard of a psychiatrist (Sarah Paulson) who sets out to convince them that they don’t possess superhuman powers. The three characters are David Dunn (Bruce Willis), the protagonist of ‘Unbreakable’, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), the antagonist of ‘Split’, and Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘Mr. Glass’, who has been imprisoned since the events of ‘Unbreakable’.
‘Unbreakable’ remains Shyamalan’s finest film, a smartly subversive superhero movie that covertly revealed its true purpose over its runtime, and ‘Glass’ touches on similar themes , albeit less successfully. I’m still unsure as to whether ‘Glass’ is incredibly clever or incredibly dumb, but it’s ambitious and doesn’t completely fall apart in the final act like a lot of Shyamalan’s post ‘Signs’ material. The film begins by briefly reintroducing the characters, mainly to bring us up to speed with what David Dunn’s been up to since we last saw him almost 20 years ago (give or take a brief ‘Split’ cameo), before locking them all up together and initiating a tense cat and mouse game as Mr. Glass plots to dupe the guards and escape. These sequences are fun to watch largely down to the performances from Jackson and McAvoy, who continues to mesmerise as the various personalities inhabited within Crumb, even if ‘Glass’ lays it on a little thicker than ‘Split’ did. The final third of the film expands into bigger ideas and incorporates the trademark Shyamalan sleight of hand and I went with it even if it felt overly convoluted and a little too forced with the meta elements.
‘Glass’ has a lot going for it but perhaps its biggest struggle is trying to find a conclusion to two films that were not initially designed to sit alongside each other. Shyamalan still knows how to entertain and he has a surer hand in bringing his narratives to a satisfying conclusion than in the past, but ‘Glass’ is odd more than anything and the disparate parts never come together organically.
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard and Adam David Thompson