2019 Knives Out was an unexpected hit for Rian Johnson. The Last Jedi his previous film divided fans with some seeing the 2019 film his redemption. 2022 We have the much anticipated sequel Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery now on Netflix.
The first film embraced the Agatha Christie’s The Mouse Trap whodunnit trappings. Glass Onion (as Johnson prefers to call his film) has kept the comedic tone dumping the bucket hat for the dirty mac of Inspector Columbo.
The whodunnit subgenre was reignited possibly thanks to Knives Out. What it did do is start a bidding war for the sequel with the streaming giants outbidding everyone. Oddly Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery only received a very limited one week cinematic release. This surprised many after the original films box office success.
Daniel Craig returns as the sleuth maestro Benoit Blanc. In a new location and a new group of culprits or even victims. Blanc and the others are invited to the luxurious Greek island retreat of billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). The other guest invited are old friends of Miles, Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn). Corporate scientist Lionel Toussaint(Leslie Odom Jr.) , fashionista Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and her conscientious assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick). Also influencer Duke Cody(Dave Bautista) and his sidekick girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline).
Also joining them is Miles former business partner Andi (Janelle Monae) who fell out with him. Apart from being a reunion, the weekend will be a murder weekend. Everyone invited has a secret, a motivation even a lie to make the murder mystery weekend a real one. Things change when someone ends up dead, making everyone a suspect.
Once again Glass Onion like it’s 2019 predecessor, the film is all about eating the rich. Poking fun at how ridiculous the wealthy react to life and what they do to cover up past sins. Humanity regardless of wealth or stature can be stupid, greedy or nasty. When you have bunch of has-beens gathered in one place and something drastic is about to happen Blanc is your man to have on the scene.
Glass Onion feels a completely different kettle of fish from Knives Out. As should any good sequel should be, whilst keeping those elements that made the original popular. The style much more in the mould of films like Murder By Death (1976), Clue (1985). A gathering of individuals all with motives to murder stepping slightly away from the old fashioned murder mystery. Now one with a contemporary edge that feels that’s going in a completely different direction, ending in the same location.
During the pre cinematic release of the film critics where asked not to spoil anything. When you watch it, you can see why as it has plenty of spoilers, reveals and cameos. Now streaming there is a temptation to reveal some, we wont. Rian Johnson could have easily went down spoiler street as there is one big twist that is revealed halfway through the film.
The one secret that was revealed before the film’s release was Benoit Blanc’s sexuality. In Knives Out Blanc had a straight up poker face seriousness. In Glass Onion, Daniel Craig hams it up becoming more campier, even unpredictable. You can see he’s having a ball playing Blanc, now the monkey is off the back. Gone are the smart suits but not forgotten, hilariously at one point he resembles bananas in pyjamas.
Could the film’s title actually referring to the great detective? Peeling back the layers of what has preventing him being the man he wants to be. There is possible allegorical evidence to support this. We do learn eventually why it’s called Glass Onion and if you need any more clues check out The Beatles song of the same name. As for who is the man in Blanc’s life will be revealed too.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a slight improvement on Knives Out. It was an odd choice for Netflix to limit the film to a 7 day cinematic release after the box office success of the first film. This film still embraced the whodunnit subgenre taking a more chaotic comedic route this time around.
The film is overly too long to truly appreciate the film (139 minutes). As for Benoit Blanc who maybe out and proud, compared to the previous film he has become more Benoit Bland. Like many sequels, it hits the right notes in some places, only for it’s ambitions make it miss many opportunities to be better.
Comedy, Crime | USA, 2022 | 15 | 23rd December 2022 | Netflix | Dir.Rian Johnson | Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr, Kathryn Hahn, Jessica Henwick,