Spoilers didn’t get an invite.
I feel like I missed mentioning something back on my Knives Out review that will ring true of this feature as well. As much as they call themselves whodunnits, both features are actually using the format as a background, but they’re both parodies of the genre. I’d say this one leans even further into obfuscating the story to provide extra twists. How much they’re entertaining depends a bit on the viewer. You are required to play along. Let’s peel this up.
Glass Onion (2022) was written and directed by Rian Johnson. An eclectic gathering of personalities reconvene at the private island of billionaire inventor Miles Bron (Edward Norton) for a weekend of leisure that includes, as he has ominously announced, a murder-mystery. Added as outsiders to the strange circle of friends are the world’s greatest detective, Benoît Blanc (Donald Craig), and Bron’s estranged partner, Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe). As friendly as the group seems on the outside, they have a history of secrets and betrayals that Blanc will need to untangle when the seemingly idyllic getaway turns deadly.
There’s going to be twists and turns along the way, but the movie seems rather set on not letting you resolve the mystery yourself. Even when Blanc has moments of supposed brilliancy, he’s pulled clues out of thin air. Is this movie as smart as it thinks itself to be? No, not really. For all the brilliant deductions and machinations that we’re not privy to but for their reveals, the characters rarely anticipate the obvious in front of their eyes. On that note, never wave your sole piece of flimsy condemning evidence in the face of the murder suspect and in reach for them to destroy.
The characters themselves are caricatures of influencers, politicians, tech gurus and pseudo-celebrities. You’re either laughing at the obvious slapstick or you’re going to have a rough time. Playing along is required, but there will be a mayor story twists at some point. The shining exception is Janelle Monáe, who has the standout performance of the entire film with the most engaging role. Everyone else, including Ed Norton, seems to be overplaying their part.
Lightly recommended for entertainment value. Expect it to be a little light on the detective-mystery part. The story is convoluted for the sake of preserving twists and reveals until the very end. Most of the humour is blatant, but it does have its moments. Worth a single watch.
That will do for now.