What if the billionaire entrepreneur wasn’t a business genius but rather a complete and utter moron who got lucky and rode on the coattails of someone else’s brilliant idea? Knives Out, the sequel written and directed by Rian Johnson, poses this very timely question.
Daniel Craig reprises his role as ace detective Benoit Blanc, complete with a dapper little cravat, but the cast and setting (Miles Bronson’s private island) are otherwise replete with new faces and blood.
A landscaped playground booby-trapped with passive-aggressive anti-smoking alarms, inhabited by Miles’ inner circle of “disruptors,” this building is a paragon of ridiculousness.
Duke (Dave Bautista), a roided-out right-wing YouTuber; Claire (Kathryn Hahn), a rising political star; and Birdie (a public relations liability) are all examples. There’s also Janelle Monáe, who is both fantastic and icy, and whose presence throws off the rest of the partygoers.
However, the true shining light is… The cleverly sly screenplay by Johnson, packs in so many laughs that you almost forget about the film’s occasional plot holes.
Critique Of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” A Tale With Many Thin Layers That Rarely Break
Rian Johnson faced high expectations for the 2019 sequel Knives Out because of the film’s impressive cast. The first film’s charm stemmed in no small part from the Thrombey family’s small colony of dysfunctional characters, whose interactions with each other were both ridiculous and excellent.
Glass Onion isn’t quite able to replicate that film’s ambiance, but that could work out for the best because it allows the film to find its own identity rather than feeling like a sequel struggling to live up to the standards set by its predecessor.
It’s a standalone story that’s only tied together by the reappearance of Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), and it’s reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s books, in which each case is treated as its own story.
Glass Onion is not a better film than Knives Out and viewers who go into it expecting that will be sorely disappointed. While the newer film is undoubtedly superior, it is marred by a few glaring flaws that are only apparent when comparing it to its predecessor.
The film revolves around Craig’s gentleman detective, who seems more at home in the role than he did in the first film.
With the exception of a pivotal character who spends the majority of the film’s second act with Blanc, the detective is now front and center, no longer taking a backseat to providing a fresh perspective on the mystery.
He wears a variety of brightly colored costumes and manages to get in on some of the film’s funniest jokes, so it’s clear he’s having a great time in the role. Blanc never feels like he’s in the way of the main mystery or out of his depth with the clues and suspects; this is a credit to Johnson’s deft hand at crafting a detective story and Blanc’s honesty as a detective. I am excited for the future of the Knives Out series, where Craig will undoubtedly improve upon Blanc.
All of the cast’s attention is focused on the mystery, the five lifelong friends, and their companions, and on the mysterious and at times pretentious tech billionaire Miles Bronson, with the exception of a few cameos (Hugh Grant’s being the best of the bunch). Even after the murder, Miles and his friends offer a new dynamic, but it’s not necessarily a good one; they feel too different, neither clashing nor gelling with each other, and throughout the story, you find yourself longing for the original cast.
It’s as if Johnson developed each character for a different work and then, for Glass Onion, decided they’d be better off together on an isolated island.
Kathryn Hahn seems to have gotten the short end of the stick; despite Leslie Odom Jr.’s Lionel Toussaint’s best efforts to put her relationships in perspective through a few exchanges, Hahn contributes nothing and instead serves merely as another character to question and analyze.
Even Bautista seems wildly out of place, as he is a character whose goals are so obvious that I would argue he only exists to provide an excuse to include two crucial elements to the story.
Johnson tries to create a wide cast of characters, but most of them are one-dimensional caricatures that serve no purpose other than to increase the number of suspects. However, Kate Hudson steals the show as the obnoxious Birdie Jay, and the chemistry between her and Jessica Henwick’s delightful assistant is hilarious, with the latter constantly delivering solid punchlines about the former’s painfully ignorant stupidity.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Parents Guide
Benoit Blanc is back to use his knives to solve a new murder mystery by Rian Johnson in Glass Onion. While the intrepid detective begins this new adventure at a lavish private estate on a Greek island, the mystery of how he got there is only the beginning.
Blanc quickly runs into a wildly diverse group of friends who have gathered for their annual reunion at the invitation of billionaire Miles Bron. Andi Brand, Miles’s ex-business partner, Claire Debella, governor of Connecticut, cutting-edge scientist Lionel Toussaint,
fashion designer, ex-model Birdie Jay and her conscientious assistant Peg, influencer Duke Cody, his sidekick girlfriend Whiskey, and many more are all on the guest list.
Just like in the very best murder mysteries, everyone has something to hide. When a body is found, everyone is a possible suspect.
The film concludes with the deaths of all three superhuman protagonists, but it is Mr. Glass who has the last laugh, having orchestrated the worldwide broadcast of their epic battle and thereby alerting the general public to the existence of metahumans. Some reviewers and journalists in the film industry have taken issue with the conclusion.