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MOVIE REVIEW: Glass is a befuddled, poorly written cash grab of a movie

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Vicky Sparks

Glass is an amalgam of two unrelated M. Night Shyamalan movies – Unbreakable, starring Bruce Willis and released in 2000, and Split, starring James McAvoy and released in 2016.

Unbreakable tells the story of David Dunn (Willis), the only survivor of a terrible train derailment who goes on to learn he is in fact unbreakable.

Along the way he meets an eccentric comic book-obsessed man named Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson) who suffers from brittle bone disease and (spoiler alert!) is a mass murderer.

Split is the story of a young man named Kevin Wendell Crumb who lives with dissociative identity disorder and carries inside him 24 unique identities, including one named The Beast who can climb walls and likes to feast on the flesh of young girls.

In Glass, Shyamalan brings the two stories together, creating a fairly implausible scenario to get all three characters placed in the same mental institution for the criminally insane.

There they fall under the care of Dr. Ellie Staple, a psychiatrist who specializes in people who believe they are superheroes (this is a lucrative practice?).

She sets out to explain away all of their abilities with rational, scientific explanations with the hope that if they give up these “delusions of grandeur” they can rejoin society.

After keeping the characters separate for most of the story (even within the same hospital) and just when the film should reach its climax by bringing them all together – it instead falls apart.

Shyamalan doesn’t know what to do with these characters all in one story, so the plot becomes forced and doesn’t completely make sense.

As for the performances, Bruce Willis’ Dunn is in so little of the movie and has so little dialogue that completely unimportant tertiary characters eclipse him. Samuel L Jackson takes Elijah Price from eccentric to completely insane, and while James McAvoy continues to entertain switching between identities the trick is overused to a frustrating degree.

Other than a post-credits scene in Split that suggested all of these characters lived in the same world, there were no indications in either film there would be or needed to be sequels to the originals. Bringing these characters together did not bring about a new and exciting Avengers-esque universe. Instead, the result is so weak it damages the memory of the original films, each of which was stronger without this third chapter.

There are the anticipated M. Night Shyamalan twists and turns but they’re either predictable or so bizarre they’re nonsensical. One major twist rests on the understanding society hates superheroes and comic books are bad. What’s next, a twist that hinges on the premise society hates puppies?!

Glass is a befuddled, poorly written cash grab of a movie attempting to capitalize on the hit-or-miss (or more accurately hit, miss, miss, miss, miss etc.) career of its director.

Sadly, this glass isn’t even half full – it’s empty, broken and should be put in the trash.

Vicky Sparks is a Bright’s Grove native and movie critic for Global TV’s The Morning Show, which airs nationally on Fridays. Her Journal Reviews cover movies playing at Galaxy Cinemas Sarnia.



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