"Glass" Review

Updated on May 22, 2019
Logan Daniel Williamson profile image

Part-time Film Critic | Graduate Student at Columbia University


Glass is M. Night Shyamalan's attempt at marrying two universes legibly into one world. It doesn't work. He insistently tells us that these characters are supposed to meld seamlessly into a single universe, but the movie itself tells a different story. I am not convinced that Shyamalan initially imagined a three-film franchise that would come out of arguably his greatest film, Unbreakable.

Surfing on the success of that movie, I feel like Shyamalan had the revelation that he could create an entire superhero saga out of this. He shoehorns a Bruce Willis cameo at the end of Split, and lo and behold, a third movie was born, integrating characters that run counter to each other in almost every conceivable way.

James McAvoy is the main reason to see this movie, albeit his performance feels a little strained. He skirts the edge of overacting, and some people think simulating different accents doesn't necessarily make someone an acting talent. Frankly I don't have a strong argument against that; however, he has a sort of intoxicating screen presence that can't be denied.

Still, I feel like McAvoy is better in the standalone film Split that served as a vehicle for his scenery-chewing style. Pairing McAvoy with Glass as his protector worked in some instances, like the hallway scene, but for the most part, I never felt like the two belonged in the same movie.

Because Samuel L. Jackson plays opposite McAvoy, his performance often feels lifeless and stale. That might be the nature of his character, but if that's the case, he is underused as a talent. Every fan of his knows that he is a tour de force in Hollywood, and he has the classic scenes and monologues to prove it. I feel like he did the best that he could here with what he had, particularly in terms of his face- and voice-acting. Be that as it may, I found him underwhelming in this movie.

I like the aesthetics of Jackson's and McAvoy's character in and of themselves. Particularly the CGI effects on McAvoy hulking out as the Beast and Mr. Glass' brittle bone disease are interesting concepts. Shyamalan gives graphic depictions of them that are somewhat skilled, and it was entertaining to watch.

Then, we have Bruce Willis. I am seriously losing respect for Willis as an actor. In this film, he is gutter-garbage, and I can't help feeling like he needs to consider early retirement. He phones in the performance and sleepwalks through the entire film.

The fight scenes in here are rather drab. Pointing a shaky cam in someone's face does not amount to a good fight scene, and it looks absolutely ridiculous. McAvoy's quadruped gait across the terrain looked clumsy and awkward. Other than the one hallway scene, I thought every high-energy action or fight scene showed poor choreography and poor acting.

Ultimately, it was the ending that cemented in my contempt for this movie. I was partially on board for the first two acts of this film or at least interested enough to stay glued to my seat. But, as Shyamalan is notorious for doing, he adds a "twist" ending that is quite the snafu. It sucks because there was an epic finale the movie set the stage for, and it completely abandons it for this let-down of an ending.

Rating: 3/10

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Logan Daniel Williamson


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      • Logan Daniel Williamson profile imageAUTHOR

        Logan Daniel Williamson 

        7 weeks ago from Jackson, Mississippi

        I did not have high hopes for this film going in, knowing the 3-film tie-in was an afterthought anyways. I tried to give it a fair shake, but I don't know that it mattered. It was a very dissatisfying film.

      • Noel Penaflor7 profile image

        Noel Penaflor 

        3 months ago from California

        I liked Unbreakable okay. Liked Split a lot. Gave me hope for Shyamalan again. The Glass happened and dampened it. Excellent review.


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