April 22, 2019  (Web Review)

Glass

Universal, 129 min., PG-13, DVD: $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo: $34.98, Apr. 16

Reviewer rating: 2.0/4

Those who haven’t seen M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) may be a little lost because this concluding film in the trilogy reunites the main characters from both films. Ultra-strong David Dunn (Bruce Willis) believes he’s a superhero, utilizing his remarkable abilities as a crime-fighting vigilante, assisted by his loyal son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) with whom he runs a security company. His arch-nemesis is brittle-boned Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), who calls himself “Mr. Glass” and uses his maniacally sinister intuition to manipulate people. Price’s current victim is troubled Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and has at least two dozen different personalities. The one who intrigues Price is “The Beast,” a serial killer. The three principals ultimately all wind up in a Philadelphia psychiatric hospital, where Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) has developed a way to deprive these so-called “delusional” prisoners of their alleged superpowers. Or has she? Shyamalan’s films (The Sixth Sense, Signs) sometimes work brilliantly and at other times not so much. Although the actors do the best they can here, the filmmaker’s strident, humorless, idiosyncratic script becomes far too complicated, and Mike Gioulakis’s cinematography is often more distracting than effective. Plus, there’s a troubling development with Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), sole survivor of The Beast’s attack in Split, before they all meet their ultimate fates. Contrived and absurdly fragmented, Glass is ultimately also far too ambiguous to be satisfying. Optional. [Note: DVD/Blu-ray extras include deleted scenes (25 min.), a conversation with star James McAvoy and director M. Night Shyamalan (5 min.), and an alternate opening (3 min.). Exclusive to the Blu-ray release are the production featurettes “The Collection of Main Characters” (9 min.), “Bringing the Team Back Together” (3 min.), “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens” (3 min.), “Connecting the Glass Universe” (3 min.), “Enhancing the Spectacle” (3 min.), “Glass Decoded” (3 min.), “David Dunn vs. The Beast” (2 min.), “The Sound of Glass” (2 min.), “Raven Hill Memorial” (2 min.), and “Night Vision” (2 min.), as well as a stunts segment (2 min.), and bonus DVD and digital copies of the film. Bottom line: a solid extras package for a disappointing and cryptic sort-of sequel.] (S. Granger)