M. Night Shyamalan’s conclusion to his unexpected superhero trilogy is definitely a mixed-bag. With the star power of Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy, it is sure to draw a crowd, but when you really dive deep into its filmmaking components, you can find some flaws amongst its strengths.
As is the case with many films from Shyamalan, the cinematography was absolutely riveting. Director of Photography Mike Gioulakis brings the audience front-and-center into the film’s emotional story. The stellar incorporations of long-takes and engrossing action sequences were balanced out by compelling editing from Luke Ciarrocchi and Blu Murray. Production designer Chris Trujillo ensured the progression of the unsettling tone of the story, which took place in a mental asylum for its majority. Composer West Dylan Thordson tied the dark themes of the narrative together with his score.
The palpable connections with the characters were further developed by marvelous performances from McAvoy and young star Anya Taylor-Joy. Unfortunately, Jackson and Willis, while excellent during their time onscreen, were underutilized and overlooked. With Jackson’s “Mr. Glass,” a physically-disabled, villainous mastermind supposed to be the title character, it was disappointing to see his lack of time in the spotlight.
In addition to the neglection of Willis and Jackson’s talents, there were also some incredibly questionable screenwriting decisions. I desperately wanted to overlook these head-scratching moments, but as I walked out of the theater, these missteps were certainly on my mind.
In review, while supported by its poignant messages of acceptance, loyalty, and compassion, “Glass” missed the mark on a few details that really stuck with me the more I thought about them. Yet, it is undoubtedly worth a watch for fans of the first two installments in this franchise, “Unbreakable” and “Split.”