Supertramp’s review published on Letterboxd:
I know some people like this film so I hope I don't step on any toes with this statement, but truthfully, I don't see how anyone who was a fan of "Unbreakable" or even "Split" can enjoy this film
"Glass" was disappointing on a number of levels. Not just because it's the follow up to two great movies, for even if you didn't have an attachment to "Unbreakable" many thought Shyamalan, was finally rising up again, he makes "Glass" A boring, uninvesting film centered all around poorly executed build-up to a frustrating climax.
It's even more disappointing given the aspects of the film that tried. There's some good camerawork, and colors to this movie. James McAvoy is the best actor here, while everyone else is kind of all over the place. I thought my lady Anya Taylor Joy is pretty good, but that might just be because I'm in love with her. Samuel L. Jackson and the rest are good, but nothing memorable. Bruce Willis forgot how to act long ago and is just so lifeless in this film. (On the other hand, that is exactly the kind of acting Shyamalan has moved toward)
Now when I say this film is boring I wasn't expecting a high stakes, CG cluster fight like The Avengers or something. I'm not that big on those films anyway. What I do like is "Unbreakable" which is a very slow-burning film, so when I say boring, that's not what I'm talking about. However, with "Unbreakable" things were progressing as the film went on. Every scene was crucial and we always learned something about the characters, plot or mystery. They would ask question, but we were engaged and wanted to see where the film would take this premise. "Unbreakable" is a tough film to categorize too as it doesn't necasarilly have a genre. It's not action, mystery, thriller, I wouldn't even call it a drama. It's a film that just works, on a deeply emotional level despite being no genres, yet many.
The premise of "Glass" is sort of a rivalry or competition between these three super powered humans. Mainly a battle of wits given their confined situation, and of course Mr. Glass' ability. However that's not explored very much at all or interestingly enough. The characters rarely interact with one another, Mr. Glass is under sedation, throughout half the movie, while David Dunn, is just completely absent from the whole second act! What kind of movie just forgets about it's protagonist and has him do nothing for a whole third of the film! (or the rest of the film, that he actually is in, for that matter, but I'll try to be nice here)
I thought another plight the film could have tried is the psychological one inside Dunn's head. The psychiatric ward tells them that they aren't actually super and it's all in their heads. What if this treatment actually started to get to David? In the same way that he had difficulty accepting his power and responsibility, we could watch the tragic reverse of that as he begins to question his own sanity and abilities. It would be heartbreaking but engaging to watch and actually give David Dunn something to do during the film.
There's also weird quirks and conversations which Shyamalan loves for some reason like how one of the orderly's was talking about vitamins, or how David Dunn's son becomes a meme expert. There's a weird scene too when David comes to his son in the middle of the night and I don't know what I was supposed to be feeling there. I was just confused.
I'm going to keep spoilers out of this review, but in order to understand my dissappointment, you must know there is a character death in this film that will piss off any fan of this 'series'. It felt like a slap in the face from Shyamalan, and this moment right here was the kiss of death for me. I completely gave up on the film afte seeing that.
I'm not going to lie, while I was excited for this, once I saw the trailer and learned that the whole movie would take place in this asylum, I felt unsure. I can't say why exactly, maybe it's because the premise of setting these characters aside and dealing with them individually rather than having them work off each other, isn't as engaging. It felt more like a giant roadblock for where this story and situations could progress the characters. On the other hand, a great director can take a lame-sounding concept and make it something worthwhile. Is Shyamalan a good director? I won't get into that debate here, but based on what he gave us with "Glass" lets just say no for no okay? So I really tried not to let the limited setting get to me, but at the end of the day, it wasn't the scale that made the film bad, it was the execution. The lack of direction, action, conflict or progression. Nothing happened in this movie, even the climax just kind of limps along awkwardly, like a sad one-legged orphan asking for pie.
Whenever I see a bad film from Shyamalan, I notice some potential like in his technical skills or creative ideas; however he just needs help from someone to hone in his thoughts and rein in his ideas to a more controlled and appealing way. I really wanted to like "Glass" but I couldn't bring myself to it. To the memory of *spoiler* *spoiler*, screw you!