Glass Onion:A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson, 2022) wr. Rian Johnson; Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson; Netflix
The problem at the heart of the glass onion is that the Daniel Craig is not a very good actor. He's almost not an actor at all, but a caricaturist - and not a very one. It's difficult to understand what he says because of his attempt at some kind of accent. Because he's making it up - the accent - syllable by syllable, as he goes along, the listener can't get attuned to it because there is nothing real at the centre of it (like the film itself). You realise, watching Craig as Benoit Blanc, that his James Bond is also a caricature, whereas Sean Connery, say, was acting as Bond. The only excuse for casting him in this is to argue that it's for comedic purposes – his ridiculous costumes are meant to indicate this. But there are serious (Elon-Musk-type) world issues ventilated in this, and a ridiculously large amount of money has been spent on this, which you can see everywhere you look. So ... you can only enjoy this, as a audience-member, if you think you personally are worth having all that money spent to distract you for 2:20 hours from your dull, nasty, and brutish life. You're not. (Clever plot but.)
By the way, John Lennon (as well as Rian Johnson) should have looked up "glass onion" in Wikipedia. You can't look through one: they're opaque.
... Daniel Craig once again dons the natty little cravat as ace detective Benoit Blanc, but elsewhere there’s fresh blood, both in the cast and splattered all over the location – the private island of Miles Bron (Edward Norton). It’s a gloriously ridiculous edifice: a landscaped playground booby-trapped with passive-aggressive anti-smoking alarms and populated by Miles’s inner circle of “disruptors”. These include roided-out rightwing YouTuber Duke (Dave Bautista), rising political star Claire (Kathryn Hahn) and PR liability Birdie (Kate Hudson, having what appears to be the most fun an actor has ever had in a role). ...
But the real star? Johnson’s crisply mischievous screenplay, which crams in so many laughs you almost don’t notice the occasional plot holes. The Guardian.
For all the pleasures in writer-director Rian Johnson’s 2019 whodunit Knives Out, there was also a sense of a filmmaker trying a bit too hard to prove his progressive bona fides on real-world issues of class and race. While the film’s stylistic elegance was enough to disarm criticism, that tendency has only increased tenfold in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which, for better and for worse, is in keeping with its “bigger is better” ethos.
... the film builds up to a howl of despair at the state of present-day America: a capitalist system that protects the self-interested one-percent and their accomplices, as well as a justice system designed to insulate them from severe consequences for their misdeeds. The explosive climax has a certain primally cathartic power, but it doesn’t quite dispel the air of self-satisfaction that envelops Johnson’s screenplay. As topical commentary, Glass Onion feels less born out of deeply felt personal fury than an interest in pandering to audience members of the same progressive political persuasion. Slant.
Garry Gillard | New: 25 November, 2022 | Now: 26 December, 2022