Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery | movie review
Has more in common with the Star Wars prequel trilogy than you'd think.
Movie summary: Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case. (IMDb)
Along with Avengers: Endgame and Greta Gerwig's Little Women, Rian Johnson's Knives Out was one of my favourite movies of 2019 - I was clearly in the mood for ensemble stories that year. When I heard that sequels to Knives Out were going to be made, I was delighted and then instantly disappointed to find out Netflix would be the company making them, as I'd really want to see them on the big screen.
Fortunately, Netflix had the sense to release Glass Onion in cinemas for a week, so tickets were booked immediately and I think it's pretty fair to say that I loved it, with this movie instantly becoming one of my favourites of the year. I don't know what the budget is for this film, but it at least looks way, way more expensive a production than its predecessor.
Hell, the score and the luxurious sights as the cast are ferried to the island where most of the movie is set really made me want a James Bond movie made by Rian Johnson, because if he can make single location look this good - and as much like a Bond villain lair as it does - then I can't imagine just how phenomenal-looking a spy movie he could make.
The thing is, how the movie looks is the only part of Glass Onion that improves on Knives Out. Just to be clear: this isn't insulting how Knives Out looks - it looks great, but Glass Onion looks better - and neither is it a criticism of the rest of Glass Onion - it's great, but Knives Out is just better. Like I said already, this is one of my favourite movies of 2022 because it's that damned good, but it's just unfortunate to be following up a literal masterpiece.
The biggest issue I have with Glass Onion is a mistake that I feel George Lucas made with the Star Wars prequels (just to be clear, Glass Onion is vastly, vastly superior to those three movies), and that was by not including an 'in' character. For the original Star Wars movies, that would be Harrison Ford as Han Solo, and for Knives Out it would be Ana De Armas as Marta Cabrera.
Those two characters are essentially regular people (for their settings) who are caught up in much bigger events around, with 'bigger' characters to contrast with their relative normalcy. This type of character is entirely absent from the Star Wars prequels, and I'd argue also from Glass Onion - there is one character who comes close in this movie (not going to spoil who), but even they are a little too caricatured to accept as a regular person.
There's no-one in this movie who provides the same kind of nervous energy that Marta does in Knives Out, with everyone coming across just a little too strong to be really relatable. I think Jessica Henwick's Peg could've possibly filled that role with her social 'inferiority' to the other characters similar to Marta, but she's unfortunately relegated to the background a little too much as this movie really revolves around Daniel Craig's Benoit Blanc.
As per usual, Craig is fantastic as the Southern detective yet again, continuing to prove just how great a comedic actor he can be (go watch the also really good Logan Lucky for even more proof). I think there's less of a surprise about him this time as we've already seen how Blanc works once before, but Craig is just so entertaining to watch that it doesn't really matter - especially when Blanc is unsure how to react to something and isn't quite as smooth as usual.
I think the characters being highly entertaining, but not especially surprising is kind of an accurate description of the rest of the cast too. I'm not going to go through them as they are all genuinely brilliant fun to watch, but I do wish Dave Bautista got more to do and I really, really liked Edward Norton's take on a billionaire tech bro who pays others to make his ideas become reality, but who is actually a colossal moron with his head too far up his own arse to realise it - sound like anyone who recently bought a social media company?
I can only thoroughly recommend Glass Onion for anyone wanting really, really fun movie to watch over the Christmas and New Year period. Again, the only real criticism I have for the movie is that it's not quite as good as the first one, even if it does look a lot bigger, better and more expensive. It's genuinely great fun from start to finish and I'm really hoping that Netflix release this on physical media at some point because I really want my own copy to watch whenever I like rather than having to bloody subscribe again.
Glass Onion isn't quite as good as Knives Out, but that's more praising the work of genius that the first film was rather than a slight against this one, which is still easily one of the best movies of 2022. The fact that the only criticism I really have is "it's not quite as good as the first film" shows just how brilliant this movie is - while it definitely surpasses its predecessor when it comes to the visuals. A 100% recommended watch.