A Familiar Frustration With a Shyamalan Film

“Glass” is the latest film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and ties his two previous films , “Unbreakable” and “Split” together.  Of course, no one knew that the two preceding works were connected until the post-credits scene in “Split” which was released in 2016.

Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson reprise their roles from “Unbreakable” while James McAvoy brings back all of the various personalities of the Horde from “Split”.

So, “Unbreakable” explored the notion of comic books being based on actual people who possessed extraordinary abilities which is followed through in this film.  Various traditional storylines from various comic books were touched on as well.

I have often had a particular gripe with M. Night Shyamalan movies for years.  He would have some fascinating ideas at times, but the execution of them is rather inconsistent at times.  Oftentimes, I end up being more frustrated with the final twists than intrigued.

Sarah Paulson joins the cast as some psychiatrist who specializes in the study of people who delude themselves into thinking they have superpowers.  I am not sure if that is enough of a problem in the world of mental illness to actually have someone specialize in that.  It may have worked better to just present her character as some very talented and renowned psychiatrist without such a specific focus of study that probably isn’t that prevalent in the real world.  Of course, the whole movie is a supernatural thriller, but still, there’s no need to get that silly.  I will apologize if there are actually psychiatrists who have some niche like that.

McAvoy gives a standout performance, but it’s not surprising since we saw it before in “Split”. Jackson also does well, but he almost always does.  Bruce Willis give kind of a one-note act throughout the film, except I blame the way the character of David Dunn was written more than any lack of talent from Willis.

The movie often seems bogged down with long expository scenes.  Most of it takes place at a mental institute which I found rather stifling when dealing with characters who are supposed to have extraordinary gifts.

But there were times when some of the interactions drew me in. Another returning presence is the girl who escaped from McAvoy’s character in “Split”, played by Anya Taylor-Joy.  Her efforts to connect with the Horde’s original persona was pretty compelling.

Whatever success “Glass” has in the box office returns will likely be due to die-hard Shyamalan fans or curiosity to see how he concludes the unexpected trilogy.  My favorite movie reviewer really hated this one, however I wouldn’t go that far in my own assessment.  I was just a bit disappointed considering the hype behind it.  I didn’t find the ending to be satisfying.  It just could have just gone much better.

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