Ian’s review published on Letterboxd:
”You would lie for a lie, but you won't lie for the truth.”
At times, Rian Johnson’s newest film in the new world order of whodunits is a real masterclass at creating fantastic misdirects and simply wonderful ensemble moments. However, at other times I found that maybe this wasn’t exactly the time of film that I was expecting. Whereas in the first film it really boiled down to the simplest function of creating itself of a murder mystery, when it comes to Glass Onion I don’t find myself thinking in the exact same way. The whole film feels a bit more like a twist on the genre, but never actually diving into the genre itself as a whole.
I don’t know if that makes sense, but as in a regular whodunit; the whole thing starts off because of a murder and technically it does here but not in the same way and the ending isn’t really about finding out who murdered them and why; it’s more about the grand scope of the ensemble itself. I don’t hate this direction from Johnson at all because the final product of the film is still one of the finest of the year, I just was exciting a different result. Speaking of the result can we talk about how perfectly structural Johnson is in literally every single of his films. Granted in these genre films it’s more noticeable.
There’s just this sense of complete control and yet, a complete misdirect here or a crazy wild scheme here that make the whole film feel complete and unfulfilled at the exact same time. It’s the reason he’s easily one of the bets directors working today in craft alone. Then the simple design of each moment here is just as spectacular. The small moments throughout the “Glass Onion” island and the world-building that gets created simply from this small amount of time allowed with everything is simply perfect.
Then there’s the equally fun and wonderful ensemble here. Obviously Craig is just as marvelous as before and creating such a uniquely different and exciting relationship with every character is what makes this work wonders. I think my only real complaint is that the characters that get a little bit of time to develop don’t really compare in the slightest. Obviously Hudson, Bautista, & Monáe are the standouts, but I found myself only slightly interested in everyone else. Just didn’t find it as brilliant as the previous film - which again, I was expecting a complete bigger and better film. In turn, that probably didn’t help my feelings here.
Was I disappointed? Maybe a slight bit. I expected a whodunit and I got a mixture of it with some kinda of different film that I can’t quote place. Even if it isn’t something all bad, I still wonder if sticking to that formula could’ve helped or hindered the final product of this. Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is easily one of the better films from all involved, but most importantly a hilarious good time. But please, Netflix release these in theaters for longer! People like to go to the theaters when something is as good as this is!