My Review of “Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery”
If you haven’t heard of Glass Onion then you must’ve been living under a rock, despite only being released at the end of November, this film ended up being one of the most talked about of 2022. Please be aware, this blog will contain spoilers.
Although the sequel of Glass Onion doesn’t follow directly from the first film in the franchise, I would highly recommend that you watch “Knives Out” first. It gives a great introduction to the character of Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), the illusive detective, known around the world for his incredible mystery-solving skills. I have to admit, after knowing him as the iconic James Bond, seeing him as an eccentric detective with a deep Southern accent took me by surprise. I’m not saying it was a bad thing, it just came as a surprise.
The first film is full of twists in the story to keep you guessing the entire time. The plot follows Blanc as he tries to decipher who is responsible for the murder of Harlan Thromeby. The entire family are suspects and all seem to have a motive, but one of the biggest mysteries is that no one knows who hired Blanc. It is an incredible film and one that I will always recommend, so how did the sequel compare?
The story is centred around Miles Bron, who hosts his unlikely group of friends (or enemies) on his private island for a weekend of murder mystery, specifically to find out who murdered him, which is one of his elaborate games. Why Benoit Blanc was invited? No one knows, not even Miles. Especially since the invites he sent were created with difficult puzzles that must be solved in order to get to the invitation itself.
The film’s beginning also shows how the different characters were handling the Covid lockdowns, giving us our first impressions of the characters. It doesn’t take Blanc long after arriving on the island to realise that each of the invitees would in fact have good reason to actually murder Miles for his past wrongdoings.
One of the things that had people speculating about the film was the fact that the only returning cast member was Daniel Craig, but oh my what a star-studded cast it turned out to be. First of all, we have Dave Bautista as Duke, aka The Loose Cannon. Duke is an opinionated Twitch streamer who is always with his gun. Alongside Bautista is Madeline Cline, who plays Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey, aka The Social Butterfly, who is immediately portrayed as dim-witted, although we later come to find out that she is actually just as smart as the others on the island.
The next pairing of characters comes in the form of the iconic Kate Hudson who plays Birdie, aka The Wild Card. She plays a retired model who often is surrounded by controversy. Accompanying Birdie on the trip is Peg, aka the Loyal Assistant, played by Jessica Henwick, and whoever cast these two alongside each other deserves a raise because they brought us some of the best chemistry throughout the entire film.
The next three characters all arrived solo. First of all, we have Leslie Odom Jr as Lionel Toussaint, aka The Scientific Mind and he does a great job at playing the genius of the group.
Next up is Kathryn Hahn who plays Claire Debella, aka, the Political Player, a local politician.
One of the main characters that the plot is based around is Miles Bron, aka The Death Of The Party, played by the incredible Edward Norton. Rounding out the group is Janelle Monae who plays Cassandra Brand, aka The Exec, Miles’s former business partner. PLOT TWIST, she also plays Cassandra’s twin sister, Helen, who arrives at the island, working alongside Benoit to solve the mystery of who murdered her sister, and why.
Also, Hugh Grant plays Benoit Blanc’s lover and I couldn’t think of anyone better to play the role, even if we only see him opening a door.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to say this, but Rian Johnson is a genius. To me, this was evident from the first Knives Out movie. All of the casting choices, the hidden easter eggs, and the set design, all of it was just perfection, and his expert eye carried through into Glass Onion. Johnson does a fantastic job of keeping the audience on the edge of their seat, which isn’t easy when the film is over 2 hours long. As I mentioned previously, the twists throughout the film work perfectly with the plot.
First of all, the whole thing with “Cassandra” actually being her twin sister “Helen” working in cahoots with Blanc is something that I for one, definitely did not see coming. And at the end of the film, the reveal of everything that Miles had built was based on him copying everyone’s ideas, which he arrogantly copied.
One of the things that make the film so easy to watch is the great writing. The way that each piece of script is written perfectly to show the personality of each character, shows just how much thought Rian had put into the script. The script really helps keep a dark plot light and airy, with its jokes, and the general stupidity of Miles’s whole character.
Knives Out Vs Glass Onion
So which did I prefer? I have to say that in my opinion, despite both films being classic whodunnits, they were still very different. Knives Out felt more serious and more focussed on Benoit Blanc doing his job of solving the crime. Glass Onion had a lot more gags and jokes throughout, due to the difference in characters in each film. Personally, I think Knives Out slightly edged it, purely because, to me, it was the perfect introduction to Benoit’s character. I also admit to enjoying the darker content in Knives Out, for example, the fact that the death was genuinely a suicide, put off a plethora of mix-ups, and there were still other parties to blame.
I would definitely recommend both films to anyone looking for a new watch, and I can see these films becoming classics in years to come.
Written by Mark Murphy