McAvoy puts on a show in nostalgic trilogy capper ‘Glass’ (Spoiler-free movie review)

“Glass,” the trilogy topper we didn’t know we needed, is a unique animal. It’s hard for me to put a finger on how I feel about it, as it is a very unconventional superhero film, choosing to focus on narrative rather than CGI battles. Today’s cinema is dominated by Marvel and DC blockbusters (most recently the CGI fest “Aquaman”), but writer-director M. Night Shyamalan grounds us in reality by keeping everything just believable enough.

The movie is a bit of nostalgia trip, as it is fun to see all of the major characters return from “Unbreakable” (2000) and “Split” (2017). Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy and James McAvoy are all present. It’s also a nice surprise to see Spencer Treat Clark, who played Willis’ son in “Unbreakable,” reprise his character. All in all, it’s nice to revisit “Unbreakable” through a number of flashbacks and the returning characters.

Although the film is named “Glass” after Jackson’s Mr. Glass, this really is McAvoy’s show. Turning in another brilliant performance after “Split,” he seamlessly changes personalities at the flip of a switch (or the flash of a light, in the case of this film).  McAvoy is so good at his portrayal of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) that I began to feel as if I was watching different characters.

If you’re a fan of Shyamalan’s film style, you won’t be disappointed with “Glass.” The ways he uses camera angles, silhouettes, reflections and other unconventional techniques are all on display here.  The score by West Dylan Thordson is also worth mentioning, as it excellently blends the thriller and superhero sound.  The story itself unfolds nicely, and yes, there are a few signature M. Night  twists.  Overall, the movie is very well put together.

Many early reviews seem to be black or white; as is the case with most Shyamalan films, there is no in-between.  Aside from a few pacing issues, a lot of what I have read as weak points don’t match what I experienced.  It is disappointing that a lot of the clichés that are avoided in this film are coming off as negative to many.  Speaking of the early reviews, all mention the ending in one way or another, saying you will either love it or hate it.  I enjoyed the way the film ends and honestly don’t understand how anyone could hate it.  It seems fitting to the trilogy.

Although this won’t go down as Shyamalan’s best film, it is certainly a great ending to the trilogy. It is unique and entertaining, and although it’s not perfect, I recommend it to any fan of the “Unbreakable”/”Split” movies.

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