HOLLYWOOD—Gosh, it is so rare to see a sequel to a movie be more entertaining and satisfying than the original. Well, I can officially say, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is better than the original. I was weary about this one that starts off a bit slow, but after about 15 minutes in, things start to propel and you become so engulfed in this narrative that you want to watch the movie a second time after missing a few clues the first time because you’re so immersed in what is taking place.
I thought “Knives Out” was great. It entertained me, but the “Glass Onion” out did its predecessor with this narrative that is so twisted, well-crafted and the clues are staring the audience directly in the face, but we don’t see them until they are pointed out. There is a great cast of characters here and I think everyone clicks on all cylinders. I will admit Kate Hudson’s ditzy model turned lifestyle mogul, Birdie annoyed my blood in the first act.
She just came across so idiotic I did not want to see her on the screen. However, Birdie does redeem herself as the character becomes a bit more fleshed out and that is the key. You have a close-knit group of characters all fleshed out; there aren’t characters who just take up space. Not in “Glass Onion.” The ensemble is led once again by Daniel Craig as esteemed Detective Benoit Blanc. Craig, who I’m known to seeing as James Bond, eats up this role and it is so visceral and fun to witness. He finds himself invited to a private island in Greece, by billionaire, Miles Bron (Edward Norton). He is a bit cocky, a bit arrogant and is hiding some secrets, but all of our characters are people.
Bron likes to play murder mystery games with his pals, Birdie (Hudson), Claire DeBella (Kathryn Hahn), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) and Andi (Janelle Monae). Monae is a standout in this movie and delivers a wickedly entertaining performance that is deserving of the awards season buzz that she is currently receiving people. Claire is a political power player, but doesn’t give that polished persona you expect, Lionel is an accomplished writer, and Duke is a Twitch powerhouse. In addition to our core six, we have Peg (Jessica Henwick), Birdie’s assistant and Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), as Duke’s girlfriend.
There are some great cameos in the movie as well that I will not spoil because they are so fun to witness. The problem with reviewing this flick is you can’t really disclose too much without spoiling the twists and turns that literally leave you giddy or in stitches and screaming at the screen. Writer and director Rian Johnson does an excellent task of presenting the chaos in a way that if you look away one moment you will miss something crucial to the puzzle piece. There is a lot more action this time around compared to its predecessor that heightens the stakes for the spectators.
This writing is spectacular by Johnson and I’m starting to see him as one of the best screenwriter’s out there. He plays tricks with the camera that makes you question if that was intentional, is something being hinted to me or should I look closer at something. “Glass Onion” is like a fun game that never gets boring and you want to play it over and over again to piece everything together.
Johnson writes dialogue that is fitting for the characters and the story that is playing out. Andi’s character is definitely a fun one because her arrival leaves everyone in a tizzy, making the viewer wonder: why? Everyone has a motive, everyone is culpable and who you think might die and who actually dies is going to leave you surprised and I don’t care how smart of a person you think you are this is a puzzle that is not easy to follow and when certain details are revealed you are speechless.
The climax is awesome and when you discover everything that has been transpiring and how it’s explained it is superb. Hands down “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is one of the top 10 best flicks of 2022 without a doubt.