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Film review: Shyamalan’s Glass has too few sharp edges, says Rashid Irani

There are plot twists and flashbacks galore, but this oblique critique of superhero origin stories gives you little to invest in.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 17, 2019 16:48 IST
Rashid Irani
Rashid Irani
Hindustan Times
Superhero,Unbreakable,Split
Glass rounds off the superhero-with-a-twist saga that the director began in Unbreakable. But it doesn’t cut as deeply.
GLASS
  • Direction: M Night Shyamalan
  • Actors: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis
  • Rating: 2 / 5

M Night Shyamalan can be depended on to spring a surprise with each new film. Unfortunately in the case of Glass, it is an unpleasant one.

This is the third in a loose trilogy that began with Unbreakable in 2000, and continued with Split two years ago. The characters, events and actors of those earlier films are now set on a collision course aimed at galvanising “unbreakable” citizens in their pursuit of truth.

While the core concept, an oblique critique of superhero origin stories, is a winner, the screenplay is pretentious, verbose and hard to digest.

In Glass, the three superheroes from Unbreakable and Split have been incarcerated in a psychological facility, under the supervision of a therapist who believes they suffer merely from delusions of grandeur.

The superhuman protagonists include a loner afflicted with multiple feuding personalities (James McAvoy, reprising his showboating role in Split) and an expert in comic book lore (Samuel L Jackson) stricken with the loftily named ‘osteogenesis imperfecta’. Also back from Unbreakable is the security guard-turned-vigilante (Bruce Willis) who can ferret out criminals through touch.

All three have been incarcerated in a psychological facility, under the supervision of a therapist (Sarah Paulson) who believes that they suffer merely from delusions of grandeur.

There was promise in the story, but the promise is squandered. Shyamalan incorporates flashbacks and plot twists galore, but gives you little to invest in or make his tale effective.

Glass is now the second-least-impressive title, after The Last Airbender, in Shyamalan’s canon. Sigh.

First Published: Jan 17, 2019 16:14 IST