HOLLYWOOD—Never in a million years did I expect while watching the psychological thriller and must-see film “Split” that it was a sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s 2000 film “Unbreakable.” That twist at the end was glorious and a smart reveal, but it was not as great as that twist in “The Sixth Sense.” Yes, the writer and director has been angling for years to live up to the magic that that Oscar-nominated film presented in 1999, so much to the point people saw the movie over and over and over again to pick up the clues.
Well, the trilogy has come to a conclusion with “Glass” which brings David Dunne (Bruce Willis), the Beast (James McAvoy) and Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) to a climactic battle. Is “Glass” a worthy end to its predecessors that left audiences talking? Not so much. The premise for the film works, but it’s the end result that will leave fans either scratching their heads or just screaming: really. The problem with making movies that are designed to have a twist is the twist has to live up to the reveal.
Now, don’t expect me to deliver that Intel to you, as of course I don’t want to spoil it, but it’s lackluster. Willis, Jackson and McAvoy are stellar in their roles. There characters are well developed and the narrative moves along at a steady pace, with our hero, and two villains being studied by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Staple is indeed an interesting enigma, who is desperate to prove to our protagonist and antagonists that they are suffering from delusions of grandeur and do not possess superpowers.
Her methods and treatments are quite harsh; she knows their weaknesses and uses that against them. In an odd way the audience wants Dr. Staple to be punished for her unethical treatment. This movie is about David, Mr. Glass and Kevin, so why in the world would the narrative interject Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy), Joseph Dunn (Spencer Treat Clark) and Mrs. Price (Charlayne Woodard) into the mix? They are merely characters who seem like fodder walking around without much to do.
I consider that a slight blunder in the script on Shyamalan’s part, as the characters could have been used more to expand on the narrative to elevate the story. They serve their purpose, but I felt the characters could have been utilized more. “Glass” felt unfinished; in some odd universe I felt there was more to this story that could have been told instead of trying to wrap it up this way. It falls flat, it doesn’t wow the viewer and it is mediocre at best.
Look, Shyamalan knows how to write a great script just look at “The Sixth Sense,” “Unbreakable” and “Split” if you’re in doubt. This isn’t a dreadful movie like “Lady in the Water” or “The Happening,” but it falls somewhere in the middle. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either just expect a sequel in the near future.