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It's been 19 years since Unbreakable was released and in that time, while many fans have wanted a sequel, it seemed highly unlikely it was ever going to actually happen. However, following the insane success of Split, a movie that was sort of a sequel, we now have Glass a film that will finally complete the story of Elijah and David Dunn. So was it worth the wait?
The early reviews on Glass were far from kind, and there are several on the CinemaBlend team who would throw in with those sentiment's the official review was written by Events Editor Eric Eisenberg, who gave the film 1.5 stars out of five who ultimately found the final product to be, quite simply, boring...
M. Night Shyamalan has made a lot of bad movies in his career, and Glass lines up right alongside The Happening and The Lady In The Water on that particular scale. For a minute it seemed like perhaps the writer/director had created a fun niche in small-scale superhero storytelling, but the end of his Eastrail 177 Trilogy proves that idea was a fallacy. You wouldn't think a follow-up to two solid films like Unbreakable and Split would manage to be this boring before culminating as a total disaster, but that's ultimately the franchise narrative that has been written here.
Overall Eric is probably the harshest critic of Glass at CinemaBlend., but he's not the only one. Managing Director Sean O'Connell does have some praise for the way the movie starts, but, in the end, he feels the ending of Glass is so bad that it ultimately, does damage to the entire trilogy.
Glass disappoints. But it disappoints in a way that actually damages both Split AND Unbreakable, and that's hard to do. You won't believe me when you are watching the movie, because for the first hour, it's actually a damn good follow up to M. Night Shyamalan's two super-powered-beings films. But the third act twist (or series of twists) totally derails Glass, and the movie can't recover. What once was intriguing has now become silly, and that's frustrating to admit.
To the degree that the CinemaBlend team agrees on anything regarding Glass, there does seem to be a general agreement among the team that the film starts strong, but that it simply isn't able to stick the landing. For project manager Cody Beck, this was a real problem because the ending was the part he was looking forward to.
Unfortunately, Glass did not shatter any expectations. The storyline grabbed and kept the interest of the audience but then quickly spiraled around the third act- which arguably contained the scenes I was most excited to see, judging from the trailers. It seemed as if Shyamalan was aggressively trying to show the audience (almost breaking the 4th wall, even) "Look! This is how comic books work!" The revelation of a shared universe between the films was interesting, but after seeing the conclusion of the trilogy in Glass, I wish the films had remained independent projects.
CinemaBlend analyst Braden Roberts echo's Cody's feelings. Ultimately, the climactic finale was anything but...
Glass sells itself as the climactic finale to Unbreakable and Split, setting the stage for our "heroes" to finally confront one another. Despite an interesting first act, the film quickly deteriorates with corny dialogue, poor acting and heavy handed themes that ultimately extinguish the flame of the first two. The climatic third-act confrontation is the biggest let-down of Glass, and unfortunately the series ends just as it began, in a trainwreck.
For marketing Editor Adrienne Jones, that mess of a final act might have been salvageable, if perhaps it hadn't been quite so damn long.
Glass starts off fine, with the first two acts clearly establishing the conflict to come. But, the final act drones on forever as we realize that, SURPRISE, M. Night Shyamalan had a twist in store, which he needs to have explained to us by Mr. Glass as all the major characters gather to watch or participate in the most boring and ridiculous "superpower" battle ever filmed.
Similarly, for writer Nick Evans, Glass feels like a movie that was made even though there was clearly no real plan for what to do with these characters once they crossed paths.
M. Night Shyamalan created such a cool premise and compelling original superheroes in Unbreakable and Split but in Glass he couldn't come up with anything interesting to do with them. There are some worthwhile ideas here but the desire to subvert expectations and bend the story to fit a theme results in a movie that feels like an unnatural and anticlimactic conclusion to the trilogy. Ultimately, Glass is a failure of imagination that shatters under the weight of expectations.
However, it's not all terribly bad news. There were a handful of people with at least somewhat more positive things to say. CinemaBlend writer Sarah El-Mahmoud says that she found Glass entertaining, not in spite of the ridiculous plot decision or terrible dialogue, but rather because of them.
Was I entertained by Glass? Yes, but probably for the wrong reasons: its dumb dialogue & plot lines. At Glass' conclusion, it's lazily orchestrated and nowhere near gratifying enough to be 19 years in the making. Either way, fans of the first two might still get a kick out of seeing it all play out, if you're game for some silliness and can push aside what could have been.
Sarah points out that fans of the Unbreakable and Split might have an easier time finding something to love about Video Producer Alli Ladd admits to being one of those people, and while she still had issues, she did ultimately enjoy the final product.
The character development was my favorite part of Glass, and James Mcavoy's Kevin Wendel Crum allowed for some comedic relief. The ending was a twist, within a twist, within a twist, because...M. Night. But, it was too much to take in all at once to really understand what Shyamalan was going for. However, being a big Unbreakable and Split fan, I enjoyed the story a lot. I liked the film much more than most critics.
It does simply go to show that sometimes perspective really makes the difference. While our official review found Glass to be boring, VP of Product Mack Rawden simply calls the movie a "slow grind," and if you don't mind deliberate storytelling, then there might be something here worth enjoying.
Glass has a very creative and emotionally complicated first two acts. It takes its time and poses some really fascinating questions. Then it goes off the rails with a more adventurous conclusion that is often mediocre and occasionally stupid. All together, it's like a fine-minus, worth seeing if you're particularly interested or if you just like slow grind movies that take a more unique and challenging path.
The most positive review likely comes from Movies Editor Corey Chichizola, who, in the end, appreciated what director M. Night Shyamalan was trying to accomplish, and feels that the character's stories ultimately work. However, he admits, each viewer will have to decide if it was all worth it.
Glass is a typical M. Night Shyamalan movie; it's ambitious, sometimes to a fault. But the way that he weaved together the stories and characters is impressive and feels very deliberate. What's more, the movie's quartet of stars still allows room for the trio of supporting characters, who carry the heart of the movie. Put the reviews aside, and go check it out for yourself.
There are many opinions here, and while many of them might have keyed in on similar ideas, there is really not that much agreement. There's no real ringing endorsement, but that doesn't mean Glass won't be worth it for many people. It's in theaters now.