Glass is the third film in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy. This third installment in what can only be described as one of the most original takes on the superhero genre since the Dark Knight trilogy. The Sixth Sense director teased that this film would be much different from anything people were expecting and he was absolutely right. The film tells the story of three people that consider themselves to be something out of a comic book end up incarcerated at the same mental institution and the subjects of an experiment meant to attempt to convince crazy people they are not superheroes or villains. It reunites the infamous filmmaker with his Unbreakable and Split stars to bring audiences a very different take on not just superhero movies, but a very different take on how the world sees extraordinary people with extraordinary abilities. Glass is a suspense-filled ride packed to the brim with everything that made Shyamalan a cinephile favorite with a solid list of performers acting out the story. From the main players to the supporting roles, the performances are great across the board and lend themselves beautifully to the story. The comic book mythology Shyamalan introduced in Unbreakable was subtle and graceful. It was just right. Split kept the party going and Glass brings the journey to a great end. This beast isn’t without its flaws because it does drag at times, stumbles early on to find it’s footing, and gets a little too exposition heavy at points. Between that and a few signature Shyamalan moments that induce a sigh and an eye roll, Glass is a solid film. People will walk into this film expecting The Sixth Sense or Split and may be disappointed. But the goal was not to continue a story, it was to finish it. Glass does something most trilogies fall flat on their face trying to accomplish, a satisfying conclusion that wraps up the saga nicely.
Samuel L. Jackson Finally Gets The Title Character: After years of working in the industry and maintaining one of the longest filmography lists for an actor, Sam Jackson finally gets his place in the sun as the star and title role of this one. You can tell that Jackson is loving the fact that he cannot only resurrect one of his favorite characters but this time out its all about him. It really says something when you can be a menacing force on screen without ever standing up. His wheelchair-ridden villain holds his own against a man with super strength, a sinister doctor, and a beast. Jackson’s take on Glass is one of the finer points of this movie and truly showcases how lucky moviegoers are to have Jackson in the business.
James McAvoy’s Stellar Performance: McAvoy’s performance is the stuff of legends in both Split and Glass. Split introduced a handful of personalities to audiences and James did an amazing job bouncing back and forth between them, making it look like he was truly inhabited by different minds. Audiences are so fortunate that he enthusiastically returned to the role and introduces fans to even more of the voices in Kevin Crumb’s head. His delivery is flawless in his second run as the troubled villain and impressively gets people to connect with each character he channels. The only thing that outshines his portrayal of each personality is his unbelievably astounding execution of the dog run. Great stuff.
The Final Showdown: While most superhero films have the nasty habit of ending with a lackluster battle sequence where two equally set individuals aimlessly punch each other until the credits rolled, this one dares to be different. The final showdown in Glass is very action packed and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. But the way it all plays out is very unexpected and while some will complain, it is truly perfect for this film, innovative, and a clear reminder that M. Night’s stories are anything but conventional.
The Shyamalan Twist: At this point, everyone knows that Shyamalan is known for his climactic twists that shock audiences. His iconic unveiling of the end of The Sixth Sense has been both a blessing and a curse for the filmmaker. While it put him on the map, it also has set a very high bar for how fans feel his films should end. Since The Sixth Sense, his work has been criticized for not living up to that expectation. While Glass’ twist in no way holds a candle to the surprise of his signature work, it does come out of nowhere and seems to bring all the chaos from the film to a very satisfying conclusion. It is undoubtedly a rough ride getting there but in the end, it feels worth it, especially if you’ve been on this journey since Unbreakable. A truly unique ending that will leave some inspired and some wanting to know what happens next.