Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: April 16, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
M. Night Shyamalan brings together two of his standout original films—Unbreakable and Split— in this explosive comic book thriller. Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), finds David Dunn (Bruce Willis) pursuing Kevin Wendell Crumb’s superhuman figure, The Beast (James McAvoy), in a series of escalating encounters. Price, armed with secrets critical to both men, emerges as a shadowy orchestrator.
Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan brings two of his most notable films (‘Unbreakable’ & ‘Split) crashing together in ‘Glass’ which sees self-created hero David Dunn (Willis) determined to locate and bring down the terrifying Horde aka Kevin Wendell (McAvoy) whose unnerving chain of murders has caught Dunn’s notice. But as the two finally come face to face they find themselves ambushed before they can finish their confrontation and forced into residence at a local hospital where they’re put under the care of a doctor who specializes in individuals who create the belief of superhuman abilities within their own head. But when they discover David’s arch-nemesis the brilliant Mr. Glass aka Elijah Price (Jackson) is also a patient, things start to become tenser, especially when Glass begins to try and enlist the help of the deadly Horde in the hopes of taking David down. That’s assuming of course that any of their abilities are in fact real and not merely in their minds.
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan (Unbreakable, Split) who does a fantastic job at the helm of ‘Glass’ bringing two of his prior films together with seamless style and heart. The film also owes plenty of credit to the talented folks that comprise the cast which features numerous returning individuals from both previous films combined with some newcomers and includes James McAvoy (Split, X-Men: Apocalypse), Bruce Willis (Unbreakable, Die Hard), Samuel L. Jackson (Unbreakable, Pulp Fiction), Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch), Sarah Paulson (Bird Box), Spencer Treat Clark (Unbreakable, TV’s Animal Kingdom), Charlayne Woodard (Unbreakable, The Crucible) and more, with nearly all offering solid performances in each of their respective roles for the most part, although McAvoy tends to effortlessly steal the show in most of the scenes he occupies.
‘Glass’ is a tense, clever and emotionally riveting take on the superhero and supervillain mythologies that is certain to keep you enthralled and guessing until the final moments. Perfectly intertwining the characters he created in his previous films ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split’, M. Night Shyamalan combines the elements and characters of each (as well as bringing back various stars from both to reprise their roles) and introduces us to a more expansive world with his own unique take on the comic book film style. Never falling into the typical tone or style most superhero films utilize, Shyamalan instead weaves a drastically different yet equally intriguing approach that’s undeniably his own. While the more character focused approach and heavy focus on the dramatic elements of these individuals and their interactions as opposed to merely assaulting the viewer with flashy action sequences will surely deter many casual fans, yet those who appreciated Shyamalan’s prior two films in his unusual comic trilogy should thoroughly appreciate this powerful, touching and personal conclusion to the tale and won’t want to even consider missing out on it. I would wholeheartedly encourage fans of Shyamalan’s work as well as of ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split’ in particular to make an effort to give ‘Glass’ a shot whenever you’re able, although I would also strongly encourage those that haven’t seen the previous two movies to try and make a point of doing so prior to watching ‘Glass’ if at all possible.
Overall, ‘Glass’ is a powerful, exciting and quite emotional culmination of M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero and supervillain tale. Offering fans an unexpected and heartfelt combination of two prior entries in his career that does justice to both of its predecessors while also forming together into something very much its own. Always embracing its own unique take on the world of comic book films and never falling back on the familiar stereotypes we often associate with the genre. ‘Glass’ is definitely highly recommended for those who appreciate the work of M. Night Shyamalan in general, and especially for fellow fans of ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Split’ who definitely won’t want to miss out on ‘Glass’. It’s a clever, tense and surprisingly moving conclusion to Shyamalan’s unusual comic book trilogy that should if nothing else prove well worth the price of a rental and a couple hours of your time for fans of the series that haven’t yet had the pleasure.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Glass’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and provides a richly detailed, clean and smooth video presentation from start to finish. It holds up impressively even during the various darkly lit, heavily populated and fast moving sequences, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation from Universal that looks fantastic throughout and should more than please the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and at times impressively aggressive audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to increase the tense and uncertain ambiance of the film, while also sending music, some action effects, nature elements and more throughout the various speakers whenever fitting, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that might happen to be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that perfectly complements the film from start to finish and sounds great every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Glass’ includes a solid collection of bonus material that fans of the film and Shyamalan’s work in general should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Alternate Opening’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length) and numerous ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 14 minutes combined); both with optional introductions by director M. Night Shyamalan. We are also treated to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes exploring the process of bringing various aspects of the film to life and connecting the trilogy, including behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘The Collection of Main Characters’ which is broken down by character (approximately 9 minutes altogether), in addition to ‘A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘Bringing the Team Back Together’ (3 minutes), ‘David Dunn vs. The Beast’ (2 minutes), ‘Glass Decoded’ (3 minutes), ‘Breaking Glass: The Stunts’ (1 minute), ‘Connecting the Glass Universe’ (3 minutes), ‘M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens’ (3 minutes), ‘The Sound of Glass’ (2 minutes), ‘Enhancing The Spectacle’ (3 minutes), ‘Raven Hill Memorial’ (2 minutes) and ‘Night Vision’ (2 minutes).