I love myself a good murder mystery but there are times when I feel like I’m in the minority here. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case as Rian Johnshon’s Knives Out, which was released in 2019, captured the hearts of a lot of people. Knives Out was a critical and financial success. So, it was inevitable that it would get a sequel. Netflix realized this and snatched up the rights to it and transforming Rian Johnson’s Benoit Blanc into this generation’s Hercule Poirot. That means he’s this generation’s greatest detective, just in case you heathens don’t know who Hercule Poirot is.
We finally did get the sequel to Knives Out a couple of weeks back. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was made available on Netflix and, well, I only got to watch it recently because of all of the stuff I had to do over the holidays. Now that I have seen it, it’s time to review it. Did Rian Johnson once again create an enthralling mystery? Or does this Glass Onion deserve to be shattered into a million pieces?
By the way, since there may be some people like you who got carried away during the holiday season and hasn’t gotten the time to see Glass Onion yet, don’t worry. This will be a SPOILER FREE review. I know it’s Netflix’s most seen film for the past couple of weeks. But, since I didn’t see it until recently, there still might be some who haven’t. So, yeah. SPOILER FREE review incoming.
Glass Onion takes place on the private island owned by eccentric billionaire Miles Bron. He’s invited his entourage to spend the weekend with him to play a murder mystery. Master detective Benoit Blanc has also mysteriously received an invitation to this get-together despite Miles Bron not sending him one. Even so, when someone in the group dies mysteriously, Benoit Blanc takes it upon himself to solve what happened.
Okay, that summary seems to be a little vague but it kind of has to be as this is a SPOILER FREE review. There’s a whole lot more to the plot as there are more than just a couple of twists and turns thrown in. I would even go as far to say it comes off as rather convoluted as the story moves along. It just doesn’t feel as tight as it should be. I’ll explain more on this later. However, strangely enough, I didn’t mind because the entire journey that the tale takes is pretty engaging thanks to all of the actors involved.
Then again, that would’ve been a big disappointment if the acting was even just okay as Glass Onion has a pretty stacked cast. You got Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc and he’s already pulling off a wonderful performance. I honestly forgot he’s also the current James Bond because his performance here is so different but he still manages to make Benoit Blanc his own person. You also got the likes of Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, David Bautista, Kathryn Hahn and Leslie Odom Jr. That’s not even including the numerous cameo appearances peppered through the film’s 139-minute runtime! Suffice to say, everyone brought their A-game to Glass Onion.
The production also looks up to snuff as Glass Onion is a gorgeous film to look at and experience. The sets are extravagant, which is how it should be as most of the film does take place at a rich guy’s private island. Everything just screams big just for the sake of it and it does create an atmosphere that does draw you in. It’s all superficial and has very little depth, which, once again, does go with the entire motif. It’s a fun place to visit but definitely not a place I would love to live in.
It’s not just the location that feels inauthentic. This also can be said for most of the characters are every person in Miles Bron’s circle, including the billionaire himself, are despicable in their own way. You immediately get the idea they’re all full of themselves and a lot of that can be attributed to the acting. But there’s also the layer that they all fall into some kind of stereotype you’ve seen before. You have the meathead attention grabbing gamer, the social climbing former model clinging to relevancy and the like. It’s all pretty familiar but, because the performances are good, you do start to hate-like them in a way.
While the characters are mostly fun, I can’t really say the same thing for the actual plot and mystery of Glass Onion. It comes off as rushed and haphazardly written, especially by the end. This is both a positive and a negative. It’s a positive as the rather chaotic mystery seems to be what Rian Johnson was going for. I can’t really elaborate further than that as this is a SPOILER FREE review. Basically, this was the end goal in mind: to make it come off as random.
But what I can say is they kept on piling on secrets and flashbacks to flesh out the events of the mystery to a point where it did feel a little too far-fetched. This is when it becomes a negative in my book. While I can enjoy it for what it is, a kooky mystery where you don’t know where it’s all going thanks to the fantastic characters, this means the actual murder mystery comes off as rather unsatisfying. In fact, I felt kind of cheated by the end as the film intentionally gives you misleading information, which is key to solving the murder. I also have to say I didn’t like the ending, even though I did understand it after thinking about it for some time. It doesn’t help that Rian Johnson’s penchant to symbolism in his works can lead to misunderstanding of the ending. Once again, SPOILER FREE review so I can’t talk about it. Let’s just say people don’t really get their own hypocrisy while they’re spouting what is supposedly their core beliefs.
The rather terrible mystery and the ending did not turn me off enough for me to hate Glass Onion, however. I still think it’s a great movie because the performances are simply fantastic. And, while I do think the plot gets a little too much for its own good by the end, the journey of getting to the end was an enjoyable ride. I do think, overall, the original Knives Out was a tighter package. But Glass Onion does feel more entertaining until you get to the ending. I say give it a watch but don’t expect too much with the mystery aspect.
Have you seen Glass Onion? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!