Knives Out: A Glass Onion Mystery – Film Review

The world’s most brilliant detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) sits in a bathtub bored out of his skull. It is 2020 and at the height of the Covid lockdowns and he yearns for a case to truly test his abilities. Right at this moment, a puzzle box arrives at his door which will lead to exactly that!

Eccentric billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) has reached out to his friends for their yearly get together consisting of the manly Twitch streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), fashion tycoon Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), rising political star Claire Debella (Katherine Hahn), scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr), and blast from the past Andi (Janelle Monáe).

This eclectic group isn’t going to let something like a worldwide pandemic hold them back from a good time. Unsure on how he got mixed up in all of this, Benoit Blanc travels with them to Miles‘ private island in Greece. Once there, Miles gleefully shows off his glass onion style mansion and sets up a murder mystery for his guests to solve. However, things quickly get out of hand, and it becomes clear that this will not be any run-of-the-mill whodunit!

Glass Onion is Rian Johnson‘s follow up to his runaway smash Knives Out. Unfortunately, Rian Johnson has been a polarising director since his work on Star Wars. As a fan, I believe his trademark subversive style wasn’t suited to such a restrictive formula. He makes his own type of films which are more entertaining above all else. In his film Looper, he quite literally told us not to worry about mechanics of time travel and just enjoy the movie.

Glass Onion much like its predecessor, is not perfectly scripted nor free of plot holes or contrivances but it is still a highly entertaining movie. Once again, Johnson sets us up with what at first appears like any other Agatha Christie-esque whodunit, only to pull the rug out from under us. What follows are several twists and turns you’ll never see coming. The murder mystery is just the beginning, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

One of my favourite elements of Knives Out was the look and feel of the ‘murder house’. It was such a character in of itself, and the film suffered when focus shifted away from it. Glass Onion more than lives up to its predecessor through production designs from Oscar winner Rick Heinrichs. The lavish over the top opulence of Miles is seen in every location with his office and main hall. Meanwhile, the talented Jenny Eagan returns as costume designer bringing even more glitz and glamor to the picture.

Daniel Craig is back in fine form as Benoit Blanc. Craig‘s roles prior to James Bond were incredibly diverse in their range. Unfortunately, I feel while he has achieved massive success since donning Bond’s tuxedo in 2006, many filmmakers have wasted him. This cannot be said for Rian Johnson who in creating the southern gentleman detective Benoit Blanc, has allowed Craig to let loose. Here, he is able to show off his comedic chops as a silly out of place caricature who is still such a joy to witness.

Daniel Craig is supported by another amazing ensemble cast Johnson has assembled. Edward Norton is great as always and here he fits the role of pompous billionaire like a glove. Janelle Monáe is also stunning in an unexpectedly versatile performance. While Jessica Henwick rounds out her 2022 filled with standout performances.

If I was to lay any criticism on this new film, it is the same as I would on Knives Out; the feelings he brings forth in the film’s close are only surface level, and much of it unravels if you pull on any loose ends. This wasn’t a problem with Looper but Glass Onion is the type of film that makes us put on our thinking caps. In doing so, it invites the audience to do a little bit more nit-picking.

Despite this, Rian Johnson has achieved what he set out to. He has made another film that is incredibly entertaining with a witty script, a talented cast, and sumptuous visuals.

Knives Out: A Glass Onion Mystery had a week only limited release in cinemas and will be streaming on Netflix from December 23.

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