Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery review: Enthralling whodunnit fires on all cylinders

‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a Rian Johnson-helmed whodunnit that is a sequel to 2019’s ‘Knives Out’. It takes Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to a private island in Greece, where he starts unfurling the layers of a larger mystery after a murder is committed.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Story

Glass Onion opens during the COVID-19 pandemic and introduces scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Connecticut Governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), model turned fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and men’s rights streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista). 

They all receive an invitation from their billionaire friend Miles Bron (Edward Norton), CEO of Alpha, a technology company, to spend a weekend on his private island in Greece for a murder mystery party. 

Meanwhile, two more invitations go out to Miles’ former partner at Alpha, Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe), and Detective Benoit Blanc. 

Everyone meets in Greece and gets on a two-hour yacht ride to the island. Lionel, Claire, Birdie, and Duke are surprised to see Blanc among the guests and shocked by Andi’s arrival. They are also accompanied by Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick) and Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline).

Unfortunately, Andi was pushed out of Alpha by Miles after a disagreement between the two, and she recently lost the lawsuit as well. Once at the island, Blanc solves the murder mystery within minutes and infuriates Miles.

However, when someone actually ends up dead, the detective starts an investigation, and a layered mystery starts unraveling.

Performances

It is refreshing to see Daniel Craig back as Benoit Blanc. His eccentricities, mixed with his southern American accent and tendency to scope out obvious clues is a winning combination. His portrayal of Blanc has the potential to carry the entire film.

Fortunately, the rest of the cast doesn’t let him as they too showcase the best of their acting skills. Edward Norton as the entitled billionaire is entertaining and adds to the chaos. Janelle Monáe is extremely convincing as the twin sisters and does well to keep her performance varied for the two characters.

Odom Jr., Hudson, Hahn, Bautista, Henwick, and Cline are the perfect additions to this glorious ensemble. Furthermore, there are fun little cameos from celebrities like Ethan Hawke, Hugh Grant, the late Stephen Sondheim, the late Dame Angela Lansbury, Natasha Lyonne, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Yo-Yo Ma, Jake Tapper, and Serena Williams.

Positives

Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion is a masterfully curated whodunnit that keeps throwing you for a loop. The plot mimics the title very well as it tries to create complicated layers over a very simple mystery and succeeds wonderfully.

It initially leads you towards the evident, completely misdirects you, and finally concludes with the most obvious answer.

This film takes everything that 2019’s Knives Out established and makes it grander. The location, the colorful characters, the backstory to the mystery, and the twists, all work exceptionally well.

The screenplay is well written as the flashback style of narration leading up to the final reveal feels different yet entertaining. Despite its 139-minute runtime, Glass Onion flows by like a breeze. There is not a single dull moment.

The music and cinematography are top-notch as well. The camera work deserves special mention as different angles are critical to blend the original events with the more detailed flashback.

The film also doesn’t shy away from mocking itself, removing any need for criticizing its over-the-top setting.

Negatives

The drawn-out climax with all the destruction feels a bit unnecessary and doesn’t do justice to the built-up tension. The film could have ended on a much more satisfactory note.

Furthermore, despite the characters being fun and eccentric, we do not get to explore their histories much, making them feel slightly unidimensional.

Verdict

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a brilliantly curated mystery thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end. It is plagued by minor pitfalls, but they hardly make any dent in the final product.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery review: Enthralling whodunnit fires on all cylinders 1

Director: Rian Johnson

Date Created: 2022-12-24 11:51

Editor's Rating:
4

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