You may or may not remember that I was pretty lukewarm about Knives Out. In fact, I was so lukewarm that I’ve never actually re-watched it since I saw it in theatres way back in 2019. At the time, I felt like a huge outcast because I just didn’t get the hype. It was… fine? I still don’t get it. Regardless of that, I still needed to see this new movie. And for me? *whispers* it’s so much better than the OG.
Most of you will know the deal with this one, especially since it debuted on Netflix, but I’ll do a mini rundown anyway. As you’d expect, we re-join Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) in a murder mystery, except this time he’s got a whole new cast around him. Yes, you’re right: he’s pretty much the modern day, highly charismatic, better looking version of Poirot. In this instalment though, he is thrust into a twisty, turn-y adventure that involves a bunch of super rich assholes at a party on a private island. At the risk of spoiling it too much, all I’ll say is that it’s not quite as straightforward as you’d presume. Although there’s no way you’d expect it to be straightforward since Blanc is involved at this point.
So here’s the real question: am I the only person here who preferred this to Knives Out? Glass Onion was so much more entertaining. Sorry, not sorry. (For the record, I know I’m not the only one.)
Actually, wait, wait. Here’s another question: is it possible for someone to have Janelle Monae bias? Maybe. Debate all you like, but she is one of the most talented performers working today when you look at her entire body of work. Monae aside, I just preferred this cast as a whole. Kathryn Hahn? The icon that is Kate Hudson? I mean, I like Ana de Armas but this cast simply just appeals to me personally head and shoulders before the previous one and they all present themselves extremely well here. How will they even top this?
What stands out so much with this one is that Glass Onion is one of those rare films that is both character-driven and story-driven. Each one of these roles is carefully written, fleshed out and performed, leaving you feeling like you know every one of them. Whilst the plot does get a little messy and wishy washy towards the latter stages, there was something so compelling and interesting about the storyline and the plot twists in this one that it mattered very little. This is 139 minutes of pure, gripping, fun filmmaking and it’s so good to know that there’s more on the way. (As long as they’re like this. If they’re like the first film? Meh, I could take it or leave it).
From a technical standpoint, you can’t deny that the score, set dressing, costuming and camerawork are all brilliant. From the jaunty, harpischord-heavy soundtrack to the shot of Ms. Brand rising from the flames like a phoenix from the ashes, there’s so much to love about what Rian Johnson does here. For me, this is his best feature film yet.
Perhaps you don’t agree; there’s a chance you are a Knives Out fan girl through and through. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking “Leslie Odom Jr. over Christopher Plummer? Dumb ass.” Here’s what I think: we’ll agree to disagree. I do love Plummer though so please don’t read into that too much. On the whole? It’s not perfect, but it’s oh so satisfying.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is currently available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½