Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy
Have I Seen it Before: Oddly enough, there are parts of this movie I’ve absolutely seen before.
Did I Like It: I really want to. Desperately, even, and for the most part I think I’m right there. It might have helped if I had walked out about twenty minutes before the end.
A sequel to Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (2000) is one of those unattainable dreams in movies. Like a Star Wars sequel trilogy, or Patrick Stewart’s return to Star Trek, or a fourth Indiana Jones film…
They haven’t announced a Batman Beyond film starring Michael Keaton yet, have they?
Actually, the tale of how Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull (2008) came to be is what I think of most when I think of Shyamalan’s latest, Glass. For years, the first question the Indy team had to answer whenever they showed their faces was “When is the fourth movie going to come out?” Usually, the answer was a shrug. Then, after getting the question for 19 years, they finally “made good” on the “promise.” Say what you will, no one’s been asking for an Indiana Jones 5 after that.
So, to will it be with any future Unbreakable movies, and our lack of demand for more sequels, sadly, has little to do with the fact that most of the main characters are “dead” by the time the end credits roll around.
For 3/4ths of the movie, everything is grand. I’m eating a hot ham and cheese on a pretzel roll, drinking a glass* of beer, my wife is by my side, and Bruce Willis is protecting the streets of Philadelphia. All is well with the world.
Even when Willis’ Dunn, the Hoard (McAvoy), and Elijah “Mr. Glass” Price, are all stuck inside a mental asylum, the movie is filled with the mix of pulp philosophy and mind games that I would expect from such a movie.
And then our super powered comic characters break out of their respective prisons, and the roller coaster flies right off of its rails. The notion of a secret organization sworn to suppress super-normal activity, nor Glass’ mission to reveal the truth to the rest of the world is all well and fine. Unfortunately, the execution of that endgame is what leave me wanting. I’m sorry, Night. I wanted to believe you could stick the landing. Maybe its the natural tendency for the part three of a trilogy to be a letdown, but this isn’t working for me.
There’s no catharsis. We are told to believe that superheroes are real and they could be anywhere, but anyone who might be a superhero is dead by the end of the film.
The ending also finds time to beggar all logic when it isn’t underwhelming. Why does this secret organization committed to snuffing out potential superheroes just kill their targets the moment they captured them? With only a few videos posted to youtube serving as the evidence of the extraordinary people, aren’t the Brothers of the Clover (my name for them, I guess, they’re jammed into the end of this movie all of a sudden) going to be able to spin their way out of this problem with a few well placed Fake News hashtags? And, not for nothing, it’s only about 85-90% clear that Dunn and Crumb are actually dead at the end. There’s no real indication they are alive either, just questions.
And maybe the questions are the point? Maybe the ambiguities will make the film age better on repeat viewings.
Maybe we’ll live to see David Dunn again.
So, when’s the fourth movie coming?
*Hey! That’s the name of the movie!