The Unpopular Opinion: ‘Glass’ is a Bold and Brilliant Climax to M. Night Shyamalan’s Superhero Trilogy

/Film | 1/18/2019 | Britt Hayes
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Reactions from critics to the Unbreakable trilogy have grown increasingly divisive with each film – not unlike reactions to M. Night Shyamalan’s work as a whole. It was only years later, after the subsequent surge of studio attempts to make “gritty” and “grounded” superhero movies, that appreciation for Unbreakable began to swell. And despite being hailed as part of Shyamalan’s comeback, Split received more negative reviews than its predecessor upon its release in 2017.

Two years later, it’s hardly surprising that Shyamalan’s trilogy-capper, Glass, has fared far worse among most critics than the films before it, and yet I find it to be a near-perfect culmination – and escalation – of this particular narrative. Glass continues the subversion and dissection of the superhero genre, while continuing to explore the compelling thematic elements at work in its predecessors – particularly those in Split. The cleverness of Glass extends beyond its mere plot points and transcends the expected Shyamalan twists, with a thoughtful aesthetic and self-aware implementation of the filmmaker’s more heavy-handed tendencies.

Post - Spoilers - Glass

This post contains spoilers for Glass.

The basic premise of Glass takes that of Unbreakable and Split to their logical conclusion: The seemingly unbreakable David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has become a vigilante, dubbed by the media as “the overseer.” Meanwhile, the exceptionally intelligent Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), who suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta (also known as “brittle bone disease”), has been locked away in a mental institution, where he is kept under heavy sedation. While out on one of his “walks” to fight crime, David stumbles upon Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) and realizes that this is The Horde – the mentally ill man suffering from dissociative identity disorder (DID), whose undesirable identities have taken over in service of a violent, apex identity known as The Beast. In the midst of rescuing...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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