Whether you enjoy it or not, there is no doubt that Glass is no ordinary film. In this collision of Unbreakable and Split, M. Night Shyamalan creatively ties together loose ends and finds a way to make (mostly) relevant connections between the two films. If you’re a fan of either movie, you’ll be excited to find out what happens to David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Kevin Crumble aka The Horde (James McAvoy) in this gripping sequel.
Glass ties Unbreakable and Split together by winding David Dunn and Kevin Crumble together with mysterious character Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson) in a mental institution. If you have watched the former films, you will be aware that David believes he is a superhero who saves innocent civilians. Murderer and kidnapper Kevin/The Horde, on the other hand, suffers from dissociative identity disorder. This leads him to embody multiple different personalities, one such personality named ‘the Beast’ can mutilate humans with his teeth and scale walls. This leaves watchers wondering how Shyamalan can possibly create an ending that merges the two characters together and it is clever how this is achieved. Shyamalan chooses to play on an important factor that bonds the characters together; they all believe that they are supernatural.
Studied by psychiatrist Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who uses surprisingly logical reasoning to convince the three patients that they are not really supernatural and that what they have achieved is in fact human and explainable, the plot begins to unravel. It eventually ends in a showdown between David and The Horde, devised by mysterious Elijah.
Sure, Shyamalan has managed to fuse Unbreakable and Split together, but how well has he done this? Regardless of the exciting twists, the flaws in his direction cannot be ignored. Rather than explaining David, Elijah and The Horde’s backstories with subtlety, Shyamalan appears to be almost over-conscious that viewers may not have seen the previous films and over-compensates for this by practically spelling out the narrative in the character’s’ dialogue. This aspect made parts of the film seem forced and amateur. As well as this, the ending fails to satisfy; the final showdown between The Beast and David, although gripping at parts, is poorly constructed and leads to an ending which is emotional but doesn’t quite feel complete.
Despite its flaws, Glass is one to watch. Entertaining from start to finish, it is enjoyable whether you have seen Unbreakable and Split or not. McAvoy’s undeniable talent makes watching The Horde’s various personalities both exciting and petrifying to watch and the mysterious nature of Elijah Price is truly intriguing. The visuals are creative – somehow, the pink walls surrounding Dr Staple and her patients in one scene makes for an unsettling and chilling atmosphere and the shots of the institution hold suspense and mystery. Overall, Glass is a film that everyone should watch; although messy at parts, it manages to incorporate drama, action, fantasy and psychological themes into one piece.
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