Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery ★★★

Glass Onion is loads of fun. That counts for a lot. It is much weaker than Knives Out, but as a comedy whodunnit with very modern stylings it delivers two hours of exciting mystery.

Similar to Knives Out, this film sets out to be an unconventional whodunnit full of twists and shifting timelines. However it feels a lot less effective and much more overworked. Some twists are obvious and while there are plenty of unexpected revelations that do shock, many also stretch the film's logic quite a bit. Glass Onion is a film that revels in being clever and works very hard to appear like that. It mostly succeeds at creating a compelling mystery with a satisfying solution, but the film just isn't as elegantly executed as Knives Out.

Glass Onion is a bigger film than Knives Out, with a much grander location and larger effects, but it misses the intimacy and smallness of the original. Glass Onion is also filled with cameos, to a point where many are needless even if a lot of the surprise ones are fun. Personally though I could have done without the self-congratulatory, celebrity-obsessed tone, and also the annoyingly milquetoast liberal optimism. It just doesn't interest me.

Compared to Knives Out, which is a film I enjoy but don't love, Glass Onion is a lot less interesting and a lot more indulgent. It does have a great cast, with Janelle Monáe being the standout, but the caricature characters are caught in a web of plotting which is enjoyable but varies from predictable to only slightly subversive. The film's production design and costumes are wonderfully done, and everything comes together as an entertaining whole. It just feels a little smug and doesn't seem as fresh as Knives Out did. Still a fairly good time though.

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