Fun In The Sun: Our Review of ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

Fun In The Sun: Our Review of ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

While sequels can have diminishing returns, they can be offset by exponential amounts of fun….

We cannot tell a lie, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery isn’t QUITE as good as the original installment in this franchise but it is about 100 times more fun as it leans into the campy nature of the murder mystery pretty hard and has some solid laughs at its own expense.

Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) returns to peel back the layers in a new Rian Johnson whodunit. This fresh adventure finds the intrepid detective at a lavish private estate on a Greek island, but how and why he comes to be there is only the first of many puzzles. Blanc soon meets a distinctly disparate group of friends gathering at the invitation of billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) for their yearly reunion. Among those on the guest list are Miles’ former business partner Andi Brand, current Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), cutting-edge scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr), fashion designer and former model Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and her conscientious assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), and influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) and his sidekick girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline). As in all the best murder mysteries, each character harbors some secrets, lies and motivations. When someone turns up dead, everyone is a suspect.

To put it bluntly, Glass Out: A Knives Out Mystery is an inherently sillier movie than its predecessor but that’s not a bad thing.  As one of the characters so eloquently says during the film, the entire set up of the narrative is basically “Rich People, doing rich people shit” and it plays that concept to the hilt.

Writer/Director Rian Johnson returns to this universe with gusto and brimming with energy as he seems intent on giving us a mystery that plays almost like it is in a kaleidoscope.  It’s big, it’s bold and it looks absolutely amazing (at least one reason why you should see it on the big screen) and most importantly it’s just fun, which is something the first film had  but not nearly abundantly as we here.  The installment was a ‘gentle’ murder mystery, whereas this ‘Glass Onion’ is a straight up romp which is written to perfection because it simultaneously takes it all very seriously while taking the piss out of the genre as a whole at the same time.

In an immaculately designed setting that is predisposed to “rich people” hijinks, Johnson just sets us down the tracks on a ride where we’ll want to soak up every minute of what is thrown at us on the screen, even if it’s just that random dude walking through the background….but don’t worry he’s really not here anyway.

As world famous detective Benoit Blanc here for the second time, Craig really gets to lean into the character and have some fun with it all as this story allows him to be the center of attention and not just existing on the peripheral of it all.  He knows the character inside out and out and has fleshed it into a flawed but entirely fun person to have at parties.

The rest of the ensemble cast is simply loaded and having a lot of fun.  With Edward Norton as the eccentric billionaire, Kate Hudson as the fading fashionista and Dave Bautista as a right-wing influencer all getting moments to shine, the real scene stealer in this one comes from a place we wouldn’t initially expect.

Janelle Monáe as the odd one out from the group is an absolute revelation and does a great job of carrying the other half of the weight of this narrative that isn’t placed firmly on Craig’s broad shoulders.

It’s ironic that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is only getting a week’s run in theatres (you should really see this as big and as flashy as you can) because it’s the delicious piece of popcorn that the multiplexes need right now, don’t miss out because it just won’t feel nearly as fun.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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