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“Please enjoy this film that took 19 years to make!”
This sentence greeted me as I sat down at a pre-release screening of Glass last week, as the final part of a letter from its writer/producer/director M. Night Shyamalan to the audience. The upshot of the letter was basically, “Please don’t spoil Glass” (which I’m about to do, so…sorry!) but I could not help but latch onto that last sentence as I steeled myself for the crossover between two of Shyamalan’s earlier films, Unbreakable and Split. As a fan of the former film, a meditation on loneliness as filtered through a comic-book lens, I was hopeful that this follow-up was worth the wait.
Glass - Director - Years - Movie
Now that I’ve seen Glass, I fear that it would’ve taken the director at least another 19 years to make this movie any good.
First, a little context for the curious: I am not the biggest defender of every M. Night Shyamalan film. Now that he’s made 13 films (and I’ve seen all of them), I’d argue that he’s made just five good ones, including both Unbreakable and Split. If it wasn’t for the abrupt ending of Unbreakable — with closing title cards telling us what happened to David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) after David learns that Elijah deliberately caused several disasters in Philadelphia, killing hundreds of people specifically so he could find a person with superpowers — it would be my favorite of Shyamalan’s films. Split is a lot more ridiculous, and you could make a very solid argument that its commentary on the long-term effects of sexual abuse is real problematic. But James McAvoy’s performance is charmingly over-the-top, and Anya Taylor-Joy matches him in her own distinct way.
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