The successor to Knives Out, Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion moves on with a new mystery that can only be solved by the detective skills of Benoit Blanc as a group of rich, shallow, and self-entitled friends are brought together to a Grecian island getaway for a murder mystery game. Only the game turns into reality through a shocking turn of events and dramatic reveals. The question remains: Whodunnit?
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As many remember, Knives Out was an absolute favorite of 2019 and helped revitalize the murder mystery genre with its unique flair in the way it utilized even the most common tropes. Glass Onion continues to do the same but manages to stand out as a separate story. It’s not a sequel, it’s not a follow up or continuation. It is its own story in what will hopefully become a library of stories. Through this movie alone, I feel as if Rian Johnson understands the genre and the modern day audience it’s intended for as well as the niche group of people the movie is targeting. And personally, it didn’t feel long at all as it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time while debating who the culprit is.
Much of the suspense and intrigue has to do with the incredible casting choices, each of whom understood their characters and performed their roles so well. I won’t give much away but Janelle Monae was surprisingly spectacular in her role, especially when the twist of the mystery is finally revealed. Daniel Craig continues to shine as the lovable Benoit Blanc while the rest of the cast manage to come off so despicable and horrible that I just hated all of them in the end. But more shocking to me is that I found myself rooting for some of these characters, even for just a minute before going back to hating them.
But here’s what really makes the movie shine: the “glass onion”. The film understands that not only do mysteries have layers, but so do people. Throughout the film, we see the layers of the mystery and story be peeled back one by one, but it’s not until each individual character’s layers are unveiled that we see progression of the investigation. Glass Onion sprinkles so many clues within brief moments that either have no context or attempt to insinuate anything other than the truth of the situation. It is constantly throwing us off the trail as we try to stay on the trail, and it actually works.
Is Glass Onion a commentary on the rich? Definitely. Does it criticize their shallow personalities, selfish and performative choices, and fake intelligence? Absolutely. And I love to see it! But there’s a lot more to this movie than just that. Without a doubt, it is one of my favorite movies of the year and has me craving for more murder mysteries from Rian Johnson. It is witty and hilarious, it is full of suspense, and mixes in twists and cliches in a way that feels fresh and new. If you loved Knives Out and if you’re a fan of Benoit Blanc, I encourage you to watch Glass Onion…and then watch it again.
Glass Onion receives 5 out of 5 Samosas.
Glass Onion is now streaming on Netflix.
Runtime: 2h 19m