By: Cody Curtis, Staff Writer
Director M. Night Shyamalan has been on both extreme ends of filmmaking. At the beginning of his career, many people believed Shyamalan was on track to be the next Steven Spielberg, except in the realm of psychological thrillers. Shortly after the release of Lady in The Water, his career took a nosedive into the metaphorical dirt. However, since the year of 2015 and the release of the independent film, The Visit, Shyamalan seems to come back from his horrific near decade of terrible film making. Shyamalan has returned once again this year with a sequel to Split called Glass. Unfortunately for many Shyamalan fans, this may be the biggest disappointment the director has put out to date, despite having some merits.
David Dunn (Bruce Willis) must track down and stop a disturbed young man named Kevin Wendall Crumb (James Mcavoy) and the 24 personalities inside of him. After encountering the most dangerous of these identities known only as ‘The Beast,’ Dunn is locked away in a psychiatric asylum that specializes in the treatment of those who believe they are super human. Once inside, Dunn discovers that not only has Crumb been in containment as well, but so has his old nemesis Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson)
Unbreakable is arguably the best film that Shyamalan ever made. It’s concepts of the superhero was revolutionary. It was a film released before the rise and boom of the superhero cinematic universes. Saying that Glass was an anticipated film of 2019 would be an understatement and on many fronts Shyamalan delivers what the people have been waiting for.
Glass is expertly shot, dripping with color and beauty. This is especially true when you realize that Kevin, Dunn and Glass all have a unique color pattern chosen for them. This adds not only depth and dimension, but allows us as an audience to see the different personality traits of each character presented.
The performances are masterful from everyone and Mcavoy is the king of them all. Allow Willis and Jackson provide performances that show why they are so great at what they do, Mcavoy is on another level. There are many shots and scenes in which this prestigious actor goes between 12 personalities in an instant and it is brilliant to behold. It is just a shame that the people running the academy awards do not recognize it.
Unfortunately the brilliant acting and the visual spectacle, which we all remember Shyamalan for, cannot save the last act of the film.
Try as he might Shyamalan just cannot get out of his own way. In the last portion of what was already a great movie, the director not only introduces the twist he is so famous for introducing in all of his films, but also attempts to reach bigger and bigger and wow his audience. These two elements are so egregiously misplaced and unwanted that it makes everything that came before seem useless. Not just the previous acts of Glass, however, it also makes Unbreakable and Split feel as though they were leading to nothing except dirt and it brings the film crashing into the ground. In film, i is easier to come back from a poorly executed first 30-minutes versus the last 30-minutes, because the ending is where a film is supposed to land.
Successful film trilogies are something to strive for.When they are completed, people will talk about it. Whether the discussion is positive or negative all depends on the quality of the final movie. Glass, unfortunately, will mark the end of M. Night Shyamalan and his reign as a director. While the risks he makes are encouraged by every filmmaker, not every creator is as unsuccessful as Shyamalan. Glass is the final nail on the coffin of Shyamalan’s career. Let’s hope for a better future and better films, because we all deserve better.