On January 11, S Maison at Conrad Manila (SM Mall of Asia Complex) allowed members of the press and some important guests to see the conclusion to M. Night Shyamalan’s trilogy of comic book thrillers, before it hits the cinemas nationwide on the 16th.
There is a sizable room in which ‘Glass’ is allowed to thrive. Unfortunately, the film suffers from its struggle to keep the three narratives within such room, and make them merge into one potent plot. The result mostly turns out frustrating, but there are brilliant moments that somehow compensate for where the film lacks. And for a film that is practically made to boggle minds, those moments provide a sort of breath-of-fresh-air, when the confusion gets too much.
The events in the film continue from where the middle installment, ‘Split’ ended, and 19 years after train-wreck survivor, David Dunn (Bruce Willis), assumed the identity of the hooded vigilante who is now called “The Overseer”, and exposed Elijah Price a.k.a. Mr. Glass (Samuel Jackson), as a terrorist and a mass murderer. His story converges with that of Kevin Wendell Crumb, whom he’s been tracking, with the help of his son, Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark). Their encounter would consequently throw them together in the same psychiatric facility, where double-crosser Mr. Glass is being held and studied by psychiatrist, Ellie Staple (Sara Paulson), who has been studying a very particular case of “delusions of grandeur” which makes people who have them, believe they are superheroes.
In a way, putting all those characters and all their 26 distinct personalities (24 of which from James McAvoy’s Crumb, including the nearly indomitable “The Beast”) in one place, does not come at all, a terrible idea—this judging how decent they look and sound (if this even makes sense), when they are in one frame together. McAvoy’s magnificent portrayal of Kevin’s multiple identities, collectively called “The Horde”, prospers in brilliance, along with the jaw-dropping terror inspired by Mr. Glass’ sinister darkness. It’s an influx of artistic energies that may be too much to take in, but being employed to a largely flawed script, it somehow gives the film balance—between the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ portions, that is.
Bruce Willis’ David Dunn never really comes out as interesting as the other two, his more absorbing moments mostly only shared with his now grown-up son (played by the same actor in “Unbreakable”), Joseph. But he remains to hold a cogent narrative amidst McAvoy and Jackson’s more dominant characters.
There are key gripping sequences that sporadically bring this whole exposition of manic superheroes, to a better light. While ‘Glass’ misses the idea of delving into the depths of the comicbook superhero genre, with the same deviously manipulative devices Shyamalan employed to his previous two installments, there are enough marvels in the film to keep spectators glued.
Sure, in this case, it may not be Kevin who made a mess but Shyamalan. But what really stops us from believing some mess can be beautiful?
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible
‘Glass’ opens in all Cinemas nationwide on the 16th of January. Watch the trailer below: