Glass Onion

Glass Onion ★★★★

Oh my. Oh my goodness. This is amazing. Just amazing!

-Benoit Blanc-

Suspense. *gasp*
Intrigue. *queue dramatic music*
Murder. *hand over mouth, shock sets in*
Conclusion. *slow claps & affirming nods*

The Glass Onion is a meticulously crafted and masterfully derived whodunnit, a more than worthy accompaniment to its predecessor Knives Out. The Glass Onion, twisty as it may be, is a surprisingly humorous case that is far more self aware and campy than I anticipated. Knives Out, while similar in tone, did somehow feel more grounded and engaging, asking me to invest something into its case and cast of characters. The Glass Onion builds on this, and nearly supersedes it. It’s funny. It’s well acted. The interweaving of plot threads and character entanglements was brilliant. Plus, The Glass Onion looks gorgeous, a real beut to watch. The only drawback is that it felt too detached from reality despite being fully steeped in real world events and ideals. It’s a small nit-pick sure, and you can tell by my rating it didn’t detract too much, but it was soooo close to outperforming Knives Out, just falling short due to its comedic, but absurdist theatrics.

Now listen. I loved this. The Glass Onion was great. Don’t think I’m saying anything otherwise. Knives Out is a hell of film to follow, an even tougher mystery to one-up. Yet here we are, Rian Johnson did it, he may not have exceeded the original (he was so close), but he did match it at every turn, just in different ways. By end credits I sat here in agreement with Detective Blanc saying: “Oh my. Oh my goodness. This is amazing. Just amazing!

The Glass Onion boasts a bright, playful, and airy flavor of cinematography for the first half of its runtime, setting our idyllic, satirical laced scene while placing our “shithead” pawns on the board. The Glass Onion then begins to ebb darker as the mystery begins to unravel and tensions begin to build. Until eventually…Lights Out…Screams. Bangs. Deaths. There’s been a murder. The camera pans frantically but controlled in the latter half, exploring motives and fleshing out backstories against a midnight,
bloodstained backdrop. The premeditated nature of this film is brilliant, we are literally given everything we need to solve this case in the beginning, yet it took me till the end to finally put it all together. The camera work literally tells the story. It’s crash zooms and clever but subtle framing techniques give more clues than I realized until it was over. Another watch through is warranted. 

The costume design here is worth a brief mention. The characters were all wildly diverse in both personality and fashion, and this was captured in eye-popping, award winning detail. Benoit Blanc has that DRIP, gives off that BDE for sure. 

The suspects. What a colorful cast. Powerhouses at every turn. Daniel Craig once again excels as his quirky, enthusiastic, and sophisticatedly cartoon-like character, detective Blanc. I love this role for Craig as it breaks free from his other more serious roles and as such he seems to savor each moment. From the ridiculous accent to the flamboyant wardrobe and mannerisms, Craig is once again a treat to watch. Edward Norton should do more comedic leaned roles, his performance here solidified that notion for me (In addition to his Wes Anderson collabs). Norton nailed his narcissistic playboy character perfectly. Norton had moments of genuine humor but also outbursts of explosiveness, showcasing what a talent he truly is, lest we forget. Janelle Mon’ae, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Madelyn Cline, Leslie Odom Jr, and Jessica Henwick round out our main cast, each delivering performances ranging from good to great depending on their screen time. Mon’ae and Hudson being the strongest from the collective. Oh, and Dave Bautista. Is he a good actor? Meh, I don’t think so. I mean I love Drax, but still, not really a towering performance. Same applies for his role in The Glass Onion. Bautista gives it his all, has a couple of memorable moments, but ultimately just feels out of place, especially against this cast. 

The Glass Onion is a louder, flashier, and generally sillier sequel that sacrifices thematic complexity for a trendy “eat the rich” plot line. While I did miss the balanced weightiness of Knives Out, I still found The Glass Onion to be a fun and outrageous caper that I plan on revisiting. Rian Johnson is two for two in his Knives Out universe, both tonally different, but both stellar and entertaining outings. I can’t wait to see where our next Benoit Blanc adventure takes us.

Ethan Hawke? What a blessing. 

Honestly, I love Derol. He’s my spirit animal. 

Peg is basically Portia from The White Lotus. Same energy.

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