In 2019, Rian Johnson struck gold with Knives Out, a modest little whodunit that was well received by critics and audiences alike. Glass Onion is a sequel to that success story, with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the famous detective Benoit Blanc (an obvious nod to Agatha Christie’s Belgium detective Hercule Poirot). Rian takes over as writer and director once more. And, once again, he has assembled an impressive cast that includes Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, and Dave Bautista, as well as cameos from Ethan Hawke, Hugh Grant, and Serena Williams.
With such an impressive lineup of stars and the promise of another round of fun guessing whodunnit, we can’t be blamed for having high expectations. Unfortunately, this is not to be. Glass Onion begins intriguingly enough with the introduction of the various characters and the familiar setup of them being invited to and gathered on a mysterious island. However, once things settle down, the plot thins out rather than thickens. As is customary, everyone is cast as a suspect with a motive to assassinate one of the main characters, the obscenely wealthy Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton. However, the anticipated murder did not go as planned, and we are diverted to a different type of crime. This unexpected event isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, in most cases, unexpected plot twists would make the film more interesting. In this case, however, it made it less. Perhaps it’s because of the way Rian chose to tell the story, with multiple flashbacks on top of flashbacks, which not only served to confuse and disrupt the overall flow of the film.
By the time the movie reached its final act, we are no longer invested in any of the characters and cannot wait for the whole thing to finish. In such movies the final act is usually the most important as it is supposed to wrap everything up nicely. Here I would say, I was no longer interested to know the who and the why. The conclusion included a ridiculous stunt involving a massive explosion that miraculously spared everyone while destroying everything around them!! That lapse in logic is simply too obvious for me to give the rest of the film my attention or respect. Another crime committed here is Daniel Craig being completely wasted in this role. At least he appears to be having fun but in the process forgot that he is supposed to act as well.
One the plus side, the movie looks great. The sets and locations look fabulous and Rian has some nice camera tricks to add on to the eye candy. However, simply looking good and padding the movie with big names does not make a movie good. For once, I hope there are no more Knives Out mysteries in the future.