Glass Review

Good vs bad – it’s the staple ingredient of any superhero movie.

Just as with the larger than life comic book characters that dominate our cinemas like a slew of spandex clad colossi, there are good superhero films and bad ones.

Personally, I’d take interesting over both – which is exactly what M Night Shyamalan’s offers up in his latest film, Glass.

We start off with some reintroductions to a few familiar faces.

First, there’s a hooded vigilante blessed with unbreakable bones and a touch of the visions called The Overseer, who goes around town bumping into people and meting out his own brand of vigilante justice to any bad hombres – or hombrettes – he stumbles upon.

His nemesis is Mr Glass and, as his name suggests, his bones aren’t nearly as indestructible as The Overseer’s.

Lucky for Glass his giant brain (inside a regular sized head) allows him to outfox most anyone he comes up against.

He also has a much better name than his semi-mortal enemy.

Last by not least is The Horde, a sort of schizophrenic chap on speed who burns through a new personality about every two and a half minutes.

He also has a penchant for kidnapping and murdering teenage girls he deems to be ‘unpure’.

Is everyone getting this so far?

When The Overseer bumps up against The Horde, an epic battle between good and evil is unleashed – or at least it would have been if the authorities hadn’t stepped in and carted everyone off to a funny farm, where Mr Glass is already in residence.

He’s not the only one either – a psychologist with an interest in ‘superheroes’ has brought this trio of heroes and villains together so she can study them and find an underlying reason for their delusional beliefs.

Of course, caging humans with superhuman abilities isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds.

After reading that back, I realise how ridiculous and convoluted Shyamalan’s plot for Glass sounds – but it’s not nearly as confusing when you only have to watch this.

Though you might want to watch Unbreakable and Split beforehand.

Picking up the threads of these two films made nearly 20 years apart, Shyamalan has crafted something fairly unique in the superhero genre.

A comic book movie that actually feels original.

Not only that, Glass is unpredictable – which makes it a very rare beast indeed.

I’m not a fan of Shyamalan’s work, precisely because his directing schtick became all too predictable, but his tying together of two separate strands into one reality is nuanced and seamless enough to make even a cynic like me buy into it.

Of course, not everything works – James McAvoy is far too big as The Horde, almost literally when he becomes The Beast, and his approach compares unfavourably to the less is more technique of his big name co-stars.

The predictable Shyamalan acting cameo doesn’t work either – but then it never has.

Still, if you can’t appreciate reuniting two bona fide movie stars like Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson on the big screen, then their characters aren’t the only ones in need of some professional help.

Glass isn’t necessarily a great superhero film, but it certainly isn’t a bad one – and in this never-ending comic book world of origin stories, reboots and the seemingly infinite marvel universe, Glass is the most interesting superhero film I’ve seen in years.

Sometimes, that’s much better than watching a good one.

Jonathan Campbell

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