Review: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Jacob Tribble, Staff writer

  Director Rian Johnson is back and has cracked the code to new Hollywood with his new movie “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”.

  Johnson understands our rampant need for nostalgia. It is no coincidence that when looking at the box office in 2022 that all top 10 movies are sequels or remakes of some kind.

  However, while the other major blockbuster sequels this year – “Jurassic World: Dominion”, “Thor: Love and Thunder”, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”, – feel mundane and overdone, what sets the “Knives Out” formula apart from the others is its ability to introduce us to a fresh set of characters in a completely different setting from its predecessor.

  In this new sequel, we once again follow detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he is wrapped into a murder mystery on a Greek island owned by billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). 

  The cast includes an eclectic group of characters ranging from a vapid model now entrepreneur – Birdie (Jennifer Hudson), a prim and proper Connecticut governor – Claire (Kathryn Hahn), a silicon valley-esque scientist – Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.), a pseudo alpha male YouTube influencer – Duke (Dave Bautista), and the mysterious ex-partner of Miles – Andi (Janelle Monae). 

  Through many twists and turns, the plot peels back more and more layers, and leaves us with a satisfying, albeit exhausting, conclusion.

  Although it is fun to see Craig reprise the whimsical role of Blanc, the real star of this movie is Janelle Monae. Compared to all of the caricatures the rest of the cast are playing, Monae’s character comes with a surprising level of depth. Monae steps up to the plate and delivers an entertaining performance that is a standout amongst the star-studded cast.

  What holds this movie back is a common problem seen in film today: the movie does not trust its audience. An alarming amount of the run time in this movie is filled with sequences of explaining the plot piece-by-piece to the audience, allowing no room for audience speculation. 

  The constant hand-holding starts to feel repetitive and leaves the viewer not as invested in what is otherwise a very clever and well-crafted film.

  “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is worth watching if for nothing else the flashy performances and the fun, zippy set pieces. The ease of access, having this movie instantly available on Netflix, also contributes to what makes this one worth checking out. 

  However, once the mystery unravels, you may find yourself thinking the movie is a little similar to the title: empty inside.

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