Glass (Subtitled) (15)



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Thriller (2019)
129mins US

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Luke Kirby, James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Sarah Paulson, Samuel L Jackson
Director: M Night Shyamalan
Writer(s): M Night Shyamalan
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Dr Ellie Staple is a psychiatrist, who specialises in a particular type of delusion of grandeur: individuals who believe they are superheroes. She oversees the care of zoo employee Kevin Wendell Crumb aka The Beast, who has 24 distinct personalities, security guard David Dunn aka The Overseer, who can unmask sins by touching someone, and Elijah Price aka Mr Glass, whose brilliant mind is condemned to a brittle body that breaks too easily.

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LondonNet Film Review
Glass (15)

Writer-director M Night Shyamalan's mind-bending thriller orchestrates a head-on collision of intriguing characters from his earlier features, Unbreakable and Split. As brittle and transparent as the title suggests, Glass unfolds in a menacing present day populated by super-powered heroes and villains who could be torn from the brightly inked pages of a comic book. Shyamalan's confidently executed but emotionally starved conundrum pretends to defy well-worn conventions but ultimately abides by them within a narrative framework which includes an obligatory twist - the filmmaker's increasingly laboured trademark since his Oscar-nominated The Sixth Sense...

Glass. Copyright: Universal Pictures. Caption: Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb and Bruce Willis as David Dunn in Glass, directed by M. Night Shyamala. Photo: Jessica Kourkounis. All Rights Reserved.Cinema audiences with limited exposure to the Marvel or DC Comics universes will be able to second-guess the writer-director's sleights of hands and will be surprised and disappointed by how linear the central plot turns out to be. Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson deliver muted performances in keeping with the film's largely predictable design, both fading into the background as James McAvoy reprises his show-stopping role as a killer with multiple personalities. The Glasgow-born actor careens between this menagerie of colourful misfits at dizzying speed, altering accents, mannerisms and posture to convince us that he is an impish nine-year-old boy called Hedwig, a serene matriarch named Patricia or a hulking protector known as Barry.

Dr Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) is a psychiatrist who specialises in a specific delusion of grandeur: individuals who believe they are superheroes. Working out of Raven Hill Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia, she oversees the treatment of three intriguing individuals: zoo employee Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) aka The Beast, security guard David Dunn (Bruce Willis) aka The Overseer, who can unmask sins through touch, and Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson) aka Mr Glass, whose brilliant mind is condemned to a painfully fragile body. "I've been given three days to treat you by whatever means necessary," Ellie warns her subjects. Aided by a team of nurses including Daryl (Adam David Thompson) and Pierce (Luke Kirby), Ellie challenges her patients' self-belief, asking them to entertain the possibility that science can explain the glittering facets of their twisted psyches. "If superheroes exist, why are there only three of you?" she proposes. As the treatment reaches a shocking resolution, Kevin's only surviving victim Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), David's proud son Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark) and Elijah's understanding mother (Charlayne Woodard) await news outside the hospital's security gates.

Running a shade over two hours, Glass is fashioned around splashy set pieces including two brutal, bone-crunching showdowns between McAvoy and Willis, the latter clad in a poncho. Paulson counters all the pent-up testosterone by shrouding her shrink in mystery, plus there is a superfluous and self-indulgent cameo from the filmmaker himself. In terms of compelling narrative arcs and satisfying resolutions, this Glass is only half full.

- Sam Cannon

Glass. Copyright: Universal Pictures. Caption: Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, James McAvoy as Kevin Wendell Crumb and Bruce Willis as David Dunn in Glass, directed by M. Night Shyamala. Photo: Jessica Kourkounis. All Rights Reserved.


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