Certain filmmakers acquire a reputation. Take Martin Scorsese. He has earned such a great reputation that even if his current film isn’t up to his standards, we still salivate for his next work.
Steven Spielberg has a great reputation as well. Even if his current project doesn’t capture our imagination, we still anticipate his next vision.
Rating: **** (out of 5)
M. Night Shyamalan definitely has a reputation. Unfortunately, for me, his reputation is that by the end of his films, I’m going to walk out disappointed and annoyed.
For nearly two decades, he crafted a career of great ideas and stupid, stupid, stupid executions. From “The Village” to “Lady in the Water” to “The Happening,” he’s tried to shock audiences with twist ending after twist ending, because he did it successfully in “The Sixth Sense.”
In the last few years, he’s been on the verge of a comeback. His found-footage thriller “The Visit” certainly bought him goodwill with audiences. More goodwill came two years ago with "Split," a surprise sequel to "Unbreakable."
After almost two decades of wishing and hoping he'd make a true sequel to “Unbreakable,” Shyamalan steps up with the thriller “Glass.”
“Glass” is the final entry in the Eastrail 177 trilogy. The story is set 19 years after the first entry, “Unbreakable,” and weeks after “Split,” the second entry.
David Dunn (Bruce Willis), the sole survivor of the Eastrail 177 crash, runs a security company by day and at night uses his superhuman abilities to seek out those who terrorize the streets.
The person Dunn seeks the most is Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), who is responsible for a series of murders and is controlled by The Horde, the collective name of the 19 personalities inside his brain.
The strongest and most dangerous personality of all is The Beast, whose sole mission is to protect Kevin.
David catches up to and prepares to battle Crumb. Both men are arrested and institutionalized. Inside the walls of Ravenhill Psychiatric Hospital, they are treated by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), who believes they suffer from delusions of grandeur that cause them to believe they are superheroes.
Also in the psychiatric hospital is another patient, Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), the man responsible for the train accident and who, due to his brittle-bone disease, calls himself Mr. Glass.
Shyamalan has made one of the best films of his career. McAvoy and Jackson give great performances, and, if you can believe it, Willis manages to give it his all.
“Glass” isn’t perfect. The dialogue sometimes is clunky, overhead shots are overused and a cameo from Shyamalan is painfully crow barred in because he apparently felt his drug dealer character was important enough to return. (He wasn’t.)
I don’t want to sound trumpets and ring bells to indicate that everything Shyamalan touches from here on will be gold. What I will say is that “Glass” closes an incredibly consistent trilogy that allows Shyamalan to proudly wear the moniker all can agree on – visionary.