Glass : Review

Eddie Pasa

Contributor at Gunaxin
In 1977, a film named Star Wars came out that sparked the world's imagination and ignited the spirits of filmgoers everywhere. Caught up in that fervor was Eddie Pasa, a one-year-old brought to the theater by his parents; as one of his earliest memories, he cites this as the starting point for his love of cinema. He has seen thousands of movies in the intervening years, finally finding an outlet for his opinions in 2010, when Dean Rogers graciously gave him a yearlong stint at The Rogers Revue. This was followed by a two-year post at Reel Film News with William Ayres. Eddie is a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) and a member of the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS).
Those of you with siblings, you'll understand: remember when your brother or sister used to grab your wrist and slap you in your faces with your own hand, repeating "Stop hitting yourself!" ad nauseam? If that memory gives you the shakes, that's exactly how you'll feel watching Glass, writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's comic book trilogy closer. Honestly, there was no possible way Shyamalan could’ve ended his Eastrail 177 Trilogy satisfyingly without going to extremes. Much like its predecessors Unbreakable and Split, Glass takes place in a more grounded reality than any Marvel or DC film – a reality where high strength, premonitions, and wall-crawling could be explained away by mere human exceptionalism. And that’s where Glass finds our three lead characters – David Dunn (Bruce Willis), Elijah “Mr. Glass” Price (Samuel L. Jackson), and Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) – as they stare down the barrel of psychiatric observation under Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). To recap: David possesses massive strength and receives precognitive visions when he touches people, both of which he uses to exact vigilante justice. The Philadelphia media has nicknamed him The Overseer, the city’s protector. As shown in Unbreakable, water is his only weakness. Kevin’s dissociative identity disorder (DID) manifests through 24 separate personalities, the 24th being The Beast, a creature endowed with superhuman abilities introduced in Split. The Beast’s strength seems ready-made for a battle with David, and he seems impervious to bullets while this personality has taken over. There seems to be no stopping him. Elijah’s Type I osteogenesis imperfecta makes his bones brittle and easily snapped by so much as a flick to the wrist, making him David’s physical polar opposite, as we discover in Unbreakable. His mind is his weapon, brilliant and cunning beyond all measure. And as we can infer from Split’s surprising, film-redefining final ten seconds, a massive showdown is due between David and The Beast. Fireworks in the making, right? This being an M. Night Shyamalan film, we know he’s less about fireworks and more about a grander truth. However, even knowing this can’t stop Glass from being a disappointment, as the film features Shyamalan at his most self-important and condescending. He can’t get out of his own way to let us enjoy the movie; he dispenses with subtleties – which is where he excels – and goes straight into the overt, his script’s dialogue moving past being cleverly meta and straight into the realm of self-parody. This is Glass’ major downfall: too much talking, not enough showing. Of course, being a PG-13 film, Shyamalan chooses to keep the violence and blood to a minimum until a very pivotal point. The film’s muted and comic book-esque color scheme allows for a lack of red – throwing back to his use of the color in The Sixth Sense – and its appearance in the film is startling, almost shouting “NOTICE ME!” to anyone who so much as thinks about dismissing it. In place of the fireworks we think are set…




Glass features M. Night Shyamalan at his most self-important and condescending. He can’t get out of his own way to let us enjoy the movie; he dispenses with subtleties and goes straight into the overt.