REVIEW: M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Glass’ Shatters Into A Million Confusing Pieces

Glass Unbreakable Split M. Night ShyamalanIt’s been a long road to Glass. The film is a direct sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable and 2017’s Split. The hype surrounding the film was monumental after the appearance of Bruce Willis’ David Dunn in the tag at the end of Split officially expanded this universe and made major headway for Glass to be green-lit. Every bit of footage we received slowly made Glass one of the most anticipated films of 2019. Yesterday, I finally got to see the film, and I’m sad to say that I absolutely hated it. Glass was abominable.

There have only been a few moments in my life where I’ve ever felt agonizing pain. Some I try not to talk about, but there is a moment that I will discuss with you all for the purpose of this review. Back when I was nine, my father owned a discount store and in the store there was a glass door that was pretty heavy. I tried to open the door and my finger got caught between the glass. My finger was split in two. I needed stitches and refused to go to the doctor and that caused me even more pain. The only other time that glass has caused me agony was during my screening for M. Night Shyamalan’s sequel to Unbreakable and Split, Glass.

If Unbreakable successfully dissects the superhero movie and Split pushes this realistic superhero universe forward, then the epic tragedy that is Glass is the complete antithesis of the previous films. Glass starts out in a good way. It reintroduces you to the characters you fell in love with in previous films. Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn, the hero that faced off against Samuel L. Jackson’s Mister Glass in Unbreakable. Dunn is still using his powers as a force for good and operates under his fan given name, The Overseer. 

Jackson’s Mister Glass is exactly where we last left him: in police custody. There isn’t as much to say about Mister Glass without spoiling the film, but be aware that everything is not what it seems in this one. James McAvoy helped create one of the best characters in this universe with Kevin Wendell Crumb in 2017’s Split. As we all know, Crumb has dissociative identity disorder and has a tendency of kidnapping young women, as shown in Split. His most interesting identity is The Beast.

The character is an amalgam of all the creatures he took care of in the zoo and also has some of their abilities. In Glass, Crumb and The Beast will have to take on their biggest challenge yet, The Overs… er-no, McAvoy’s portrayal of The Beast. The character worked in Split because he was shrouded in mystery and the shadows, but in this film he’s exposed and this causes The Beast to become its most laughable aspect. Meanwhile, Sarah Paulson enters the universe as a psychologist that works with people who have the delusion that they’re superheroes. She becomes a key piece in the thread that pushes the plot forward. Her main goal is to get these men (and the audience) to believe that they’re only imagining these abilities and it would work if there wasn’t concrete proof in the film that they aren’t imagining things. Paulson is fine in the movie, but as the conclusion gets complicated, her role becomes something else entirely and that isn’t exactly a good thing.

While the first two acts of the film set up some interesting threads, the third act pulls those threads completely apart and and the whole thing is as understandable as college level calculus is to a 3-year-old. This was really hard for me to get through. The film has everything it needed to be great. Good acting, OK directing, great visuals and a long history to draw from. But, Shyamalan’s script ultimately falls short. Yeah, I know. Shyamalan is usually hit or miss. However, I didn’t think there was any way he could make this a bad film, and in an insane, real-world plot twist, he did. 

That’s what the greatest plot twist of the film is. You go in thinking the film will be good, then at the end of it, M. Night Shyamalan stands in front of the theater and slaps the ticket out your hand and says “no, no, no” like Dikembe Mutombo in those GEICO  commercials. The abominable conclusion of Glass left a sour taste in my mouth. The villain’s master plan falls short and whoever had the bright idea to explain the structure of comic books as a plot device should never touch a movie again. I’m a huge fan of this cinematic universe and not liking this film stings more than the cut of the glass from the door in my father’s store.

Overall Thoughts: Glass was a major disappointment. Nothing in the film adds up. Every thread that is created in the first half of the movie disintegrates by the end. The director tries really hard to mislead the audience to believe the film will go one way and ultimately goes in a completely  different direction creating a very anti climatic ending that didn’t work for me. If you’re a fan of Unbreakable and Split, I think the film will ultimately let you down. Glass was absolutely abominable and quite possibly the worst film I’ve seen since Venom, but at least you can have fun with that one.

Rating: 5/10

Glass opens in theaters January 18th, 2019!

The Superhero Movies Of 2018, Ranked From Worst To Best

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Superhero Cinema 2018 Black Panther Avengers Thanos The Incredibles Aquaman2018 has gone by too fast. It seems like yesterday when the beginning of the new year was upon us, and the advent of having so many superhero movies hitting theaters seemed like a dream come true for every fanboy and fangirl. It's also funny to look back and remember that although we ended up with a whopping nine major theatrical superhero movies, we almost had eleven. Sadly, Fox delayed both Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants to 2019 instead.

Even with those two films delayed, 2018 was still a massive year not just at the box office, but for the continued advancement of the genre on a number of levels. Whether it was through the cultural significance of a film like Black Panther or the exciting animated adventures of Incredibles 2 and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there was no shortage of exciting superhero stories told on the big screen this year.

Here are the theatrical superhero films of 2018, ranked from worst to best. You can start the gallery by clicking "Next."

9. Venom Venom Tom Hardy Eddie Brock Marvel Sony

Yeah, Venom is an interesting film to say the least. Many have doubted Sony and their plans to create their own universe centered on Spider-Man villains that is said to be "adjacent" to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially after what happened with their proposed plans for a shared universe set within the canon of Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man films.

What director Ruben Fleischer brought to audiences is this bizarre, clunky, yet surprisingly entertaining throwback to the early 2000s era of superhero cinema. It has major narrative and technical flaws that keep it from being legitimately a "good" film beyond some moments of ironic brilliance, but Tom Hardy's performance is one of the most entertaining comic book movie performances put on screen in a long time.

8. Ant-Man and the WaspAnt-Man and the Wasp Avengers 4 Marvel

It's pretty hard to follow in the footsteps of such a massive crossover event like Avengers: Infinity War, but the microscopic (yes, pun intended) scale of Ant-Man and the Wasp is a nice lighthearted cleanser after witnessing Thanos' decimation. It falls short of its 2015 predecessor, but director Peyton Reed still brings in some entertaining sequences that are a nice blend of action and comedy.

Both Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly have great chemistry, and the entire climactic chase sequence is pure delight.

7. Deadpool 2Deadpool 2 X-Force Fox

2016's Deadpool was the surprise hit of that year. While many hardcore comic book fans were excited to finally see a proper iteration of the Merc with a Mouth, the industry was particularly surprised by how mainstream audiences embraced Ryan Reynolds as the beloved antihero of the Marvel Universe.

Deadpool 2 continues that trend of self-aware comedy mixed in with the badass action directed by David Leitch. Unfortunately, the film falls into some of the trappings of a "more of the same" type of sequel, but put on a bigger scale. The film certainly could've benefited from a more clever script beyond just making everything bigger than the first. While the film never recaptures that lightning-in-a-bottle that the first film had, it still holds its own with some great character moments and perhaps the best mid-credits scene of all-time.

Plus, the additions of Cable (Josh Brolin) and Domino (Zazie Beetz) add more to the irresistible tone that Deadpool brings to the big screen. Overall, a decent sequel.

6. Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

Teen Titans GO! To The Movies

It's kind of funny that Teen Titans GO! To The Movies is as entertaining as it is. Sure, the film is still targeted towards younger children that tune into the series on Cartoon Network, but the film is a surprisingly clever send-up of both the superhero movie genre as well as a hilarious tribute to the lore of DC Comics seen through the eyes of the Teen Titans themselves.

Also, the fact that the film ends with a stinger that teases the possible return of the original Teen Titans series justifies its existence in more ways than one.

5. Aquaman Aquaman

Aquaman is a much-needed win for the DC Extended Universe. The franchise received its biggest win in 2017 with Wonder Woman but unfortunately hit a massive roadblock with the disappointing Justice League. As it turns out, all the DCEU needed to do to get back in the right direction was to add water and filmmaker James Wan into the mix.

Wan really goes all out with this film. This is a visually stunning adventure film on both land and sea that really leans into the inherently cheesy nature of the character while simultaneously turning Aquaman into perhaps the most badass superhero in the DCEU thus far.

Some may be turned off by how campy Aquaman can get at points, but it's hard not to get swept up into the fun when you have Jason Momoa having the time of his life.

4. Incredibles 2incredibles-2-pixar-disney

It has been 14 years since we were last acquainted with the Incredibles. Thankfully, they haven't missed a beat even after that long, long wait for the most-requested Pixar sequel of all-time.

It's great to see Brad Bird bounce back with this exciting sequel after the earnest, yet disappointing mess that was Tomorrowland. Here, Bird is back on his element as a brilliant storyteller and is adept at further developing these characters.

Seeing the entire family in these hilarious and death-defying circumstances is so enthralling, particularly in the film's climax. Also, everything involving Jack-Jack and Edna Mode are some of the funniest sequences of animation that Pixar has ever done.

3. Avengers: Infinity WarAvengers Infinity War Thanos Marvel Studios

What else is there that needs to be said about this 2018 film? It really is the most ambitious crossover event in cinematic history, and it has sparked an entire year-long conversation about what our surviving heroes will be doing next after all the chaos.

Anthony and Joe Russo accomplished the near-impossible task of balancing out dozens of larger-than-life characters in this kaleidoscope of comic book beauty that leads to some of the most epic battles ever brought to the big screen.

Also, with Avengers: Endgame on the horizon, it's going to be interesting if that film has a moment that tops the pure awesomeness that is the scene in which Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Groot (Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Bradley Cooper) arrive on the battlefield in Wakanda.

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseSpider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

Who would've thought that an animated Spider-Man movie that features Spider-Noir and Spider-Ham on the big screen would be the best film centered on the webhead since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2?

Leave it to the minds of Phil Lord and Chris Miller along with the incredible creative team to bring us a true love letter to the character that would make Stan Lee and Steve Ditko proud. Yes, Peter Parker will always be our original Spidey, but this film proves that the best part about being Spider-Man is the fact that he/she can come from anywhere despite their personal background and circumstances.

1. Black PantherBlack Panther Marvel Disney Ryan Coogler

As big as Avengers: Infinity War was, it's harder to find a 2018 movie that has had as big of an impact on the popular culture than Black Panther. But beyond the cultural significance that comes with such a film, Ryan Coogler crafted a powerful, touching story about legacy, family, principles, power and purpose.

It's hard to log onto the internet sometimes because the world is in such a chaotic place. But Black Panther represents the power of storytelling and why seeing more diverse characters and stories on the big screen matters.

Films like Black Panther remind us about the power of cinema. It can unite audiences together despite their differences and can also inspire us to be better people. All those reasons and more are why Black Panther is the best superhero film of 2018.

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Nathaniel Brail

Nathaniel Brail

Running things at HH. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NateBrail