Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery ★★★★

LFF #16

If Knives Out was a murder mystery invaded by satire, this one is a satire invaded by a murder mystery. To elaborate, that film started with a body being discovered, this one starts with a social media influencer being locked out of her accounts because she can't stop posting slurs. And even though I didn't clock it I think it takes about an hour for anyone to die. So, mileage may vary on if this is the Knives Out sequel you want.

For the rather shaky first 30 minutes, I was worried it definitely wasn't for me. It's all very Pandemic Art, lots of masks, covid and self-isolation jokes, bizarre cameos and characters who won't stop bringing up hot button topics like NFTs that are probably going to age like milk. But, once things get going, this is once again a complete blast. The performances are all very fun - I'd tell you who the cast stand-out is but due to the classically labyrinthine construction of the narrative even that would be a bit of a spoiler - and Craig especially is still just a joy to watch.

It could still stand to tone down all the "topical" satire and comedy a bit, but once this actually becomes a murder mystery it's almost as satisfying as the first one. There's another great mid-film rug pull, lots of great "oh shit" moments of realization and many fun character reveals. And of course, a great end credits needle drop that you can probably guess. It does suffer a bit from Netflix bloat, even though the budget has ballooned there's one pretty awful bit of CGI in the climax that clearly outreached its grasp. So, while this is definitely a bit of a step down from the original (and probably the worst Rian Johnson movie? though I've never been much of a Brick guy), it's still highly entertaining and a worthwile entry to the Benoit Blanc canon. I just hope an eventual Knives Out 3 can deliver a bit of a tighter package.

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