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Glass: A Cracking Success or Smashed Hopes?

BEFORE YOU READ ON, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR UNBREAKABLE, SPLIT AND GLASS AHEAD SO BE WARNED!

 

19 years ago, the plot twist guru M. Night Shyamalan released a film under the title “Unbreakable” which followed a man by the name David Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, on his journey of realising he may be a superhero. Eight years later, after a slew of bombs and disappointments, he then released Split. The story of three girls and their struggle to survive a kidnapping by their mysterious host, played by James McAvoy, and his 23 other personalities.

Now on the surface, these two films have nothing in common beside the fact the same director is attached to both films. However, the very last moments of Split were completely unexpected by 99% of the audience, as Bruce Willis reprised his role of David Dunn, but spoke only one line. That one line sent thousands of “Unbreakable” fans wild, confirming that the film they just watched was in fact a sequel to “Unbreakable”.

Jump ahead 3 years and here we are. The sequel to both films, aptly titled “Glass.” This film was 19 years in the making with McAvoy returning as Kevin and his 23 additional personalities along with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson as David Dunn and Elijah Price AKA Mr. Glass, respectively. Other returning cast members include Anya Taylor Joy as Casey Cooke, Spencer Treat Clark as Joseph Dunn and Charlayne Woodard as Mrs. Price, Elijah’s mother. New to the scene however is Sarah Paulson’s Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychiatrist whose aim is to convince these three people that they are exactly that, people and not beings with extraordinary powers. Unfortunately, Robin Wright does not make a return as Audrey Dunn, the wife of David. Instead, fans get a throwaway explanation as to why she passed away five years prior to the film’s setting due to Leukemia. I’m sure there’s a reason as to why she did not appear in the film, most likely due to her roles in Netflix’s “House of Cards” and her recently confirmed role in Wonder Woman 1984”, but surely fans could have had something better than the old ‘they died off screen’ explanation, right?

As with most M. Night films, “Glass” is no exception to a plot twist or two. Towards the end of the film, Joseph Dunn confronts The Beast and explains that Mr. Glass must be hiding something from him after doing some research of his own. Cue the twist! As it turns out, David Dunn wasn’t the only key character on Eastrail train 177. Kevin’s father Clarence Wendell Crumb, who he thought abandoned him, was also on that train. So Mr. Glass, in an effort to find someone with superhuman powers during the events of “Unbreakable,” had indirectly created The Beast, Kevin’s 24th personality revealed to fans during the climax of “Split.” I for one did not see this coming so I absolutely loved this twist. It didn’t cross my mind at all that we could see the return of the Eastrail disaster from “Unbreakable!”

As if that wasn’t enough, there were two other twists (one other if you ask my brother, it’s personal opinion really). One of which reveals that Ellie Staple was in fact working for a secret organization that intended to remove these super humans by convincing them that they’re powers were nothing but imaginations caused by past experience. Failing that, she must deal with them another way and remove any evidence of their existence, which is exactly how this movie ends. In an unforeseen ending Kevin, Elijah and David are all killed either by each other or this secret organization. This took me by surprise as I expected at least one of them to live but Shyamalan clearly had other ideas!

Finally, the final twist of the film comes in its final moments. After following Ellie around for a minute or two, viewers find her in a comic store. She overhears some kids discussing villains and stating that you never really know the villain’s real plan and that they’re always one step ahead. After hearing this, she rushes back to the psychiatric hospital and checks the cameras. Earlier on, before the final showdown, it’s revealed that Mr. Glass downloaded and streamed the camera footage to an unknown website. Viewers are then shown each of the three other returning characters and them receiving emails containing the camera footage of all three super humans and their abilities. Cut to them sitting in a train station and watching as everyone is receiving YouTube videos of them all ‘doing their stuff.’ Credits!

As a whole “Glass” is a great film for fans of both “Unbreakable” and “Split,” with Jackson’s Mr.Glass and McAvoy’s The Beast teaming up later in the film to take on Willis’ The Overseer. Filled with references to both previous films’ characters and events, “Glass” is entertaining, engaging and above all fun to watch! Whether or not we’ll get a new entry in the trilogy is up for debate. Some would say Shyamalan tied up the whole thing rather well, whereas others would say he’s made room for more super human people to enter the mix. I guess we’ll find out…