M. Night Shyamalan is finally completing his Unbreakable and Split saga, with the trilogy-capper, Glass. Like any Shyamalan project, the details of Glass have been mostly kept under wraps - aside from the the fact that the film brings Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson's hero/villain rivalry back to the forefront, with James McAvoy's split personality killer Horde thrown in as the wild card force of nature in the middle.
After the official premieres took place last night, the first Glass reviews are now online - and form this initial wave of reports, it's looking like Shyamalan's epic comeback roll with The Visit and Split may be finally hitting the wall.
Scroll down to see what critics are saying about the film!
Too Little, Too Late
Inverse feels that Glass would've been great - had Shyamalan made it in his early 2000s heyday:
"The point Shyamalan makes is that superheroes dominate our culture so much we now think of ourselves as heroes with our own origin stories. The only problem? In 2019 this isn’t a fresh concept for a movie, it’s very old news... In the years since Unbreakable, superheroes have become the dominant pop culture force, rising and evolving before our eyes. They became interconnected, the result of trust in a smart audience that is only earned through reliable consistency... So when Shyamalan revealed that he, too, was going for a cinematic universe, returning to a brilliant story that virtually preceded this whole thing, it felt like all bets were off. But Shyamalan didn’t trust us, and the work suffers."prevnext
Heroic Hollywood doesn't mince words in its assessment that Glass is a mess:
"Glass was a major disappointment. Nothing in the film adds up. Every thread that is created in the first half of the movie disintegrates by the end. The director tries really hard to mislead the audience to believe the film will go one way and ultimately goes in a completely different direction creating a very anti climatic ending that didn’t work for me. If you’re a fan of Unbreakable and Split, I think the film will ultimately let you down. Glass was absolutely abominable and quite possibly the worst film I’ve seen since Venom, but at least you can have fun with that one."prevnext
Is This The Real Life? Is It Just Fantasy?
THR says that Shyamalan's inability to balance the comic book fantasy and real-world approach that made Unbreakable and Split both hits is why Glass fails:
"Like Unbreakable and Split, Glass wants its extraordinary feats to be as grounded as possible in the real world. The tension between wish-fulfillment heroics and realism was tantalizing in Unbreakable. Here, it's more confused. Those of us who have steered clear of gossip sites or promotional interviews may find ourselves, after the big showdown Mr. Glass has engineered, not certain what we have seen. Is Glass the least satisfying chapter of an often enjoyable, conceptually intriguing trilogy? Or is it an attempt to launch a broader Shyamalaniverse, in which ordinary men and women throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs will discover their own inspiring abilities? Marketplace realities make the latter more likely. Here's hoping the former is the case."prevnext
Not Enough Shyamalaning
Polygon states that Glass is missing the one thing that defines Shyamalan's best works: the unexpected surprises that keep you guessing, or leave you with one hell of a big revelation:
"Rather than try to parse things out, Shyamalan forgoes compelling idiosyncrasies and attention to detail in favor of broad melodrama and a compulsion to show and tell. Every single curveball in Glass ends up whiffing, as the film takes a few extra beats to laboriously spell out what’s already been implied — each development is shown to the audience, and then explained out loud by one of the characters — halting momentum and deflating any sense of surprise that might have breathed a little life back into the increasingly cumbersome story."prevnext
Variety echoes what a lot of others are saying: The comic book movie genre has changed too much for Glass to still be relevant:
"It’s good to see Shyamalan back (to a degree) in form, to the extent that he’s recovered his basic mojo as a yarn spinner. But “Glass” occupies us without haunting us; it’s more busy than it is stirring or exciting. Maybe that’s because revisiting this material feels a touch opportunistic, and maybe it’s because the deluge of comic-book movies that now threatens to engulf us on a daily basis has leeched what’s left of the mystery out of comics."prevnext
Film School Reject
Slashfilm respects Shyamalan's skill as a filmmaker - which is why they find it so perplexing that Glass doesn't show off more of it:
"As Glass unfolded, I desperately searched for something to grab hold of, like a drowning man trying to snag a life preserver. I’ve supported and enjoyed Shyamalan’s work for so long that to sit and watch Glass unfold in such a sloppy, sloggy fashion felt jarring. “Have I been wrong this entire time?” I thought. “Is Shyamalan a bad filmmaker after all?” The answer is no. In his past work, he’s displayed a wonderful knowledge of cinematic language, and a masterful control of the camera. But none of that is on display in Glass, which only has a few memorable shots spliced into a visually bland, flat space."prevnext
Indiewire claims that - in a career marked by some big letdowns - Glass is the biggest disappointment that Shyamalan has created, and really another one of the director's narcissistic indulgences:
"The trouble with “Glass” isn’t that its creator sees his own reflection at every turn, or that he goes so far out of his way to contort the film into a clear parable for the many stages of his turbulent career; the trouble with “Glass” is that its mildly intriguing meta-textual narrative is so much richer and more compelling than the asinine story that Shyamalan tells on its surface."prevnext
End of Shyamalan?
Forbes goes a step further, calling Glass a failure - and maybe death knell for the filmmaker's career:
"Glass is so tragically misguided, so bereft of character that it may be a sign that perhaps The Visit was a fluke. Maybe the Shyamalan who struck gold 20 years ago never came back after he parted ways with Disney over story notes given for Lady in the Water. With Glass, which proves that he indeed shouldn’t have returned to the world of Unbreakable, he entirely loses sight of his characters, his skewed balance of compassion and malice, his quirky dialogue and the real reasons (not just the plot twists) that he became a household name in the first place. For years we all thought that Shyamalan had lost his storytelling mojo. But now it appears that he may have lost his empathy and compassion. And if that is the case, he may have lost me as well."
It Was Inevitable
Geek Tyrant claims that Glass was the only finale to Unbreakable and Split that we could ever have gotten:
"I applaud M. Night Shyamalan for the story he told with Glass and how he handled these characters. I wouldn’t have wanted it to turn out any other way. The story needed to play out the way that it did and I can’t wait to see what audiences think of it."prevnext
Digital Spy is bucking the trend of bad reviews, praising Glass as a successful finale:
"Glass offers answers and brings the trilogy neatly to a largely successful close, without completely wrapping things up in a neat bow. If there's one downside, it's that the finale feels a bit exposition-heavy and could have benefitted from being paced out a bit; at times, you've barely recovered from one reveal when another one comes along."2comments
Are you still excited for Glass after these initial reviews? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Glass hits theaters on January 18th.prev