Believe it or not, Glass is a film that has taken nineteen years to complete. It is the film that connects the worlds of Unbreakable and Split in a two-hour epic finale (or beginning?), and brings the characters David Dunn (Bruce Willis), Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), and “The Hoard” (James McAvoy’s many characters he portrays on screen) altogether. The anticipation for such a film has been rising, especially with the success of Split. Unfortunately Glass doesn’t seem to meet the mark for a film that has been greatly hyped up, especially for a nineteen-year wait.
Glass opens to a stoic Patricia (one of “The Hoard”), in hiding from society in an abandoned factory with her latest victims, a group of cheerleaders. We’re then taken to David, who owns a small security store with his son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), and saves lives on the side. He has developed a reputation on the street as “The Overseer”, acting as a vigilante of sorts, saving individuals who are in distress. Both David and “The Hoard” are living seemingly normal lives (aside from the life saving and kidnapping), until their paths cross one afternoon, resulting in a stand off between the two. However, just outside of their scuffle, a convoy of police is assembled to capture them and take them to a psych ward under the direction of Doctor Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Dr. Staple has locked them along with Elijah Price, who has been there for the past eighteen years, because they believe they have the delusion of being “superheroes”. Is it all in their heads, or could there really be superheroes living amongst us?
The first fifteen minutes of the film are slow, and kind of leaves you thinking, “What’s the point of all of this”? But then almost instantly it jumps into action, assuring you there may be some hope. In true M. Night Shyamalan fashion, you are sitting there questioning and contemplating the entire time, much in the vein of The Sixth Sense. It’s a fun little mind game…until the concept of comic books comes into the mix. Up until this point, the film was doing a decent job at capturing my attention with the idea of individuals who had the delusion of having special abilities. However once the notion of them being derived from comic book characters came into the mix, my interest in the film declined rapidly.
It was as if Shyamalan tried to convey an overall serious tone on a subject that wasn’t serious, and it came off as almost humorous. I found myself not knowing whether to be interested or to laugh at parts that weren’t necessarily supposed to be funny. While the film did have a surprising twist at the end, the whole concept just seemed silly and the overall tone of the film was so blended. James McAvoy, however, is incredible in this film, even more so than he was in Split. He is like a machine, the way he quickly switches between his characters and all that encompass them.
Definitely don’t go into this film expecting much, because it won’t deliver. While Shyamalan is notorious for his hits and misses, one would think that a film with as much hype would have had a bit more effort put into it.
Glass Review by Dylan Tracy