‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ Review: “A Layered Fun Time”
After the roaring success of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out in 2019, people chomped at the bit for a sequel, another story in the Benoit Blanc tales. Going to several bidders, Netflix ended up with the rights for the second and third tales! Now, we travel to Greece at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to visit a rich people murder mystery party so they can live it out together and relax. At least, that’s what they think. Filled with a fantastic cast, Glass Onion traverses the layers of murder and who it could have been while exploring ideas of justice.
As far as the cast goes, they’re all great choices. Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, and Daniel Craig take finals for best on screen, and Monáe takes it handily. She works all angles of her character brilliantly, and never misses the opportunity for center stage. Craig is once again playing the role of Benoit Blanc, and once again supports the murder suspects by making sure their individuality shines and makes them who they are on screen. Odom Jr. is the silent killer of the cast. He doesn’t shine as brightly as Monáe does, but in the background, he’s efficient and speculative, which can make him a character of focus.
The rest of the ensemble works well together, and they’re led in the efforts by Johnson. From the opening ramp scene to the end after justice is served, the cast puts in great effort. While the script does meander for a bit, it manages to rouse audiences back to attention with an eye-catching finale. There are several layers to the mystery, and enough misdirection to keep a viewer about some, if not all aspects. The dialogue achieved, combined with the social commentary take the film to new heights.
What differs the most between Glass Onion and the original is the production design and digital effects usage. While most of the individual sets look great, the overall view of the private island can look strange from a few angles. In fact, there is one scene in particular that can be difficult to overlook some inconsistencies. The choice of one of the reveal’s placements also differs but is less of a factor in terms of a negative because it’s approached so well.
Overall, Glass Onion is one sight to behold. In some ways, it exceeds the original by leaps and bounds, and in other cases is only just below it. To develop something this well, in such a short turnaround is quite impressive. Including the cast which could easily make or break the movie, it’s well done. There are also some great line deliveries that provide great laughs. The layers to Glass Onion are so good, I can’t wait to see it again to dissect it more. – Katie Rentschler
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will be in theaters until November 30th. It will be streaming on Netflix December 23rd.