Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 400-Word Review: Glass

M. Night Shyamalan's crossover film lands with a splat, as the filmmaker once again can't resist his worst impulses.




Photo courtesy Universal Pictures
 

In 2000 — during the brief period when M. Night Shyamalan’s head was small enough to allow room for decent ideas — his mystery by way of a superhero tale, “Unbreakable,” became a decent hit. It predicted the rise of comic-book cinema and introduced a pair of memorable characters: the indestructible David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and the brilliant Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson).

Shyamalan has long since exited his creative phase, which was swiftly followed by his petulant phase and his irrelevant phase. Since 2015, the filmmaker has sadly returned to prominence with three films driven by demeaning the mentally ill.

The truly loathsome “The Visit,” in which aging and dementia were turned into a cheap horror premise, fooled some forgiving viewers with jump scares. Eyeing an opportunity to return to success by leaning on tired terror tropes, Shyamalan then made “Split,” a by-the-numbers abduction picture which callously demonized dissociative identity disorder.

I found “Split” dull, silly and patently offensive. Admittedly, however, it was a hit (and many critics disagreed with me). It had a slapped-on coda that tied into “Unbreakable,” sowing the seeds of a crossover event.

That film is “Glass.” “Glass” is not a good film. It is less actively detestable than “The Visit” or “Split” in that it is too busy with plot to spend time narratively pummeling vulnerable corners of society — but it is a messy, dreadfully directed ramble of a story reminiscent of M. Night’s clunky self-aggrandizement parable “The Lady in the Water.”

Dunn is now a low-level vigilante beating up petty criminals. Glass is committed to an institution. When, uh, The Horde, the ridiculously named villain of “Split” (James McAvoy), makes headlines, Dunn goes looking for them, leading to a public showdown — which gets both men thrown into the same institution housing Glass.

A psychiatrist (Sarah Paulson) tries to convince everyone they’re delusional and not superpowered, but Glass has other plans. It all leads to one of Shyamalan’s patented twist endings; like a washed-up rock band playing their hit, there’s a glimmer of power in there, making the ending more satisfying than everything that leads to it. Once again, though, Shyamalan proves that the worst thing for his career is ego. The relative success of “Split” seems to have given him license to create another indulgent, sloppy tantrum of a film. I wonder how many more times he’ll be allowed to fail.

My Rating: 3/10

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

The Potential of Prevention Against Chronic Diseases

America’s metabolism is broken, and doctors have a new strategy: diagnose patients before they become patients.

Take Our Wellness Quiz

Lifestyle changes such as eating healthier and exercising more can combat prediabetes and prehypertension. Take our Wellness Quiz to find out how you are doing.

First Look: A Sculpture Garden Blooms at Hartwood Acres

Pittsburgh Magazine shares what’s taking shape with the sculpture collection at Hartwood Acres.

Restaurant Review: Fairlane in Mt. Lebanon

Graham Foster and Lauren Zanardelli’s restaurant hits the right notes with a casual, thoughtful menu which includes a terrific hamburger and a stellar pickle plate.

A Pittsburgh Photographer Doubles Down on a Model Marathon

Elaborate photography portraits sessions can last for hours -- this photographer plans to shoot 48 of them in one day.

The Famous People Who Visited WQED in its First 65 Years

The parade of prominent people started early and continues today.

Our 50 Years: Revisiting Our Snarky Period

Back in the bodacious ’80s, the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine were more than happy to roast deserving targets in a yearly round-up of shame.

Underdogs United: Trading Jerseys for Water

Underdogs United’s global jersey exchange connects star athletes with Kenyan kids.

Heritage Craft Butchers Is a Gem That's Worth Driving To

The trio behind the Marianna butcher shop hope their rural storefront will become a destination.

Cinderlands Warehouse Set to Open in Strip District

The brewery and restaurant, located in the Old Spaghetti Warehouse space, will hold more than 350 people.

Steelers’ Draft Should Start with a Devin, After That, Who Knows?

Sifting through the prospects and trying to determine the significance of Batman suits, Hall-of-Fame relatives, The New Yorker and Whataburger is all a part of the annual challenge facing Steelers GM Kevin Colbert and company.

Get Weird with Row House's Stop-Motion Animation Week

A bizarre new release headlines a group that includes three Oscar nominees.

PM on KD: What Pittsburgh Sports Teams Could Have Been

PM associate editor Sean Collier appeared on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to discuss our May issue features: What Pittsburgh's sports teams could have been called, the new sculpture garden at Hartwood Acres and the annual Best Doctors list.

How Well Do You Know Pittsburgh?

What do you know about the fountain of youth in North Park? The relics at St. Anthony’s? The history of Pittsburghese? We bring you all this and more in our guide to Pittsburgh lore full of insider info and fun facts. Plus, take our quizzes to test your expertise of all things Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Team Names That Might've Been

We've known them for decades as the Pirates, Steelers and Penguins, but for a few twists of fate, the closets of dedicated fans could look a lot different.