Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case.
How do you follow up one of the biggest hits of 2019, a movie that reinvigorated the Agatha Christie style murder mystery genre? Well ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is exactly how you do it, in this thrillingly crafted sequel from Rian Johnson. Returning is Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc, the Southern detective, to investigate a new crime, only this one has yet to be committed, adding extra intrigue to proceedings. It centres on Miles Bron, a billionaire tech owner played by Edward Norton, who has invited a group of friends and acquaintances to spend a weekend with him at the ‘Glass Onion’, his mansion on a private Greek island, for a murder mystery party – only the murder is all too real.
To say too much about ‘Glass Onion’ would be to give much of its joys away, so I’ll try to avoid specifics – all you really need to know is that Miles and his friends have been up to no good and all of them have reasons as to why they’d wish others in the group would stay quiet, permanently. The ensemble, alongside Craig and Norton, includes men’s rights activist and Twitch streamer Duke (Dave Bautista), his partner Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), Miles’ CEO Andi (Janelle Monae), his head scientist Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.), Connecticut governor Claire (Kathryn Hahn) and fashion designer Birdie (Kate Hudson) and her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick). Over the course of film we learn about how each of these characters relates to Miles and each other, and how past events have led all of them to be on this island on this weekend with potential motives for murder.
The first ‘Knives Out’ was a success for three main reasons: a wildly inventive screenplay, a terrific ensemble and Daniel Craig’s scene stealing performance as Detective Benoit Blanc. Johnson has managed to achieve all three of these aims again, with another screenplay that never gives you a moment to settle with revelations coming one after another, another brilliant ensemble, and Craig on fine form as ever. This all provides the setup for the drama that will unfold in front of us, building to a magnificent final act where Johnson, through his characters, lays all his cards on the table thrillingly. It is a very funny film with sharp dialogue, and like the first film, it’s one of those that will reward repeat viewings to go back and discover clues you perhaps missed first time around.
If I had a minor critique, it’s that the intricacies of the corporate plot that forms the backdrop of the murder mystery didn’t really grab me, but to be honest it did seem to be merely there as a framework to sow distrust amongst the group and in that respect it did its job. ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is a cracking murder mystery and an excellent follow up to ‘Knives Out’, and I’m sure right now Netflix are pretty pleased with their decision to invest in this and a further sequel.
Directed By: Rian Johnson
Starring: Daniel Craig, Ed Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Noah Segan, Jackie Hoffman and Dallas Roberts