Nineteen years ago, I had the honour of seeing Unbreakable in cinemas on its opening day. The film’s ending left me in awe and overall surprised.
The same feelings and more occurred once I finished watching Split (again in theatres). Split left me yelling out loud and shaking with goosebumps when I realised what director M. Night Shyamalan did to his audience. To this day it was one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen in cinema. Words cannot describe how passionate I was to see Glass on its opening day and see how this series would complete and how this movie would compare to its previous instalments.
To this day, M. Night Shyamalan is one of my top 5 favourite directors of all time.
They are continuing where we last left our hero, security shop owner David (Bruce Willis) patrols the streets looking for crime and is currently on the hunt for a man who captures young girls. This man has multiple personalities (played brilliantly by James McAvoy).
David soon finds himself in a mental hospital and is reunited with familiar friends or foes. One of these familiar faces includes the man who discovered David’s skills and strength, Mr Glass (Samuel L. Jackson).
As far as performances go, I honestly was once again blown away by both actors James McAvoy and Samuel L Jackson. While Bruce Willis is fine, I’m thankful his dialogue as a character was somewhat reduced. Some background characters (such as the Nurses & Security guards) are sadly the typical cliché types we’ve seen in films before. The strongest actors are our three leads- they’re the real standouts as we’ve seen in previous films.
From a filming perspective, M. Night Shyamalan delivers the goods, making great use of colours and film styles as we’ve seen in previous films. Colours in selected scenes are used to suit the film’s tones (or situations) and are all done rather nicely. Colours, which the audience may not realise, are used in this film to build tension and suspense. I’m also happy to report the film’s audio track, such as the sound effects, are fantastic. Still, I am genuinely disappointed to say that the memorable James Newton Howard “Unbreakable” theme is sadly lacking from this film. This was a theme that featured powerfully in both previous films.
As a plot (no spoilers), fans have been waiting for 19 years to witness the ultimate ending for these characters and see M. Night’s vision come to an end. If you were expecting a film that is similar to Avengers, you would be disappointed. If you’re expecting anything over the top with lots of significant action, I feel you will once again be disappointed, and this is one of my key points to consider.
Similar to films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I like many expected as to what we thought we should see in this film. Little did I know, this film (just like The Last Jedi) was opposite to what I had expected.
I would suggest viewers who have followed the film’s franchise and shared the same hype and passion as I did towards this instalment go into your cinema session with an open mind. One thing I’ve learned with this Director is to simply accept that anything is possible and usually the film ending will be ultimately unpredictable.
That being said, by the end of this film, I considered everything we the audience invested in and watched as the finale built and I questioned if Glass delivered Finesse. Unfortunately, I feel the third act/final moments don’t quite provide the equivalent to what the series was building towards (but damn it was close!). But! Nevertheless, Glass still has a taste of satisfaction, even though I know some will more than likely disagree with me.
Overall, as the credits for Glass rolled, I thought to myself “Wow what an incredible journey it has truly been thanks to the talented director and great actors”. But as a plot, there is such so much tension built up in Glass and the final moments don’t quite deliver the results I was lead to believe we were headed towards. I feel many viewers will see this film with high expectations going in, already having set in their minds what should happen in the story. Still, like Star Wars: The Last Jedi, viewers will be left satisfied, surprised or perhaps disappointed with its results.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden