Review by Shahzaib Ali
Rian Johnson brings on the sequel to one of the best films of 2019 Knives Out, Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery (2022). This one follows Daniel Craig’s Detective Beniot Blanc once again as he is thrusted into a new mystery taking place within an isolated island involving a group of friends as the prime suspects.
Over the course of his career, Johnson has shown that a wildly popular genre/ franchise can always stay alive as long as it is reinvented with a fresh new take. He has proven this with not only his most divisive movie, but possibly one of the most divisive blockbuster movies ever, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017). In 2019, Johnson presented his subversive take on the Murder Mystery genre with Knives Out, it was here that he proved his unpredictability as a writer/director.
Craig once again delivers his charm for Detective Blanc. This is a character who after being featured in two movies now, I can most honestly see solving many mysteries for an unlimited amount of movies and not get bored. The new cast here is also phenomenal. While not every character is explored as much as others, they all display their own unique traits and personality within the story. The main standouts in this new cast for me are Edward Norton and Janelle Monáe.
Johnson’s screenplay excels on its unpredictability. In terms of plot, structure and setting, this one is completely different from its predecessor, it never falls into the trappings of attempting to recreate what made Knives Out amazing, but instead insists on standing completely on its own and thus creating an experience that will blow away the audience and keep them guessing just as much, if not more, than before. Not only that but the movie is also riddled with complex and relevant themes regarding the self-righteousness of the rich, themes that are carefully and cleverly woven into the film’s narrative and thus conveying an extremely valuable moral in such an entertaining manner. The humour also brings on the much needed charm for this playful series, Johnson knows how to incorporate jokes about relevant topics and pop culture references without it ever feeling too forced or detracting from the story, in fact it enhances it.
Glass Onion is an amazingly written, insanely engaging and charming romp that further proves that Rian Johnson is one of the best and most unique directors in recent memory. It is such a shame that it didn’t have a full theatrical release.