When the topic of superheroes is introduced, many think of capes, tights and saving the world. In M. Night Shyamalan’s new film Glass, he flips the traditional superhero narrative, showing us three individuals with superhero-like attributes. Shyamalan creates a shocking trilogy, with Glassbeing a long-awaited sequel to two of his previous films: Unbreakable and Split.
Both main characters from Shyamalan’s 2000 thriller Unbreakablemake a reappearance in Glass.The two main characters areDavid Dunn, played by Bruce Willis, and Mr. Glass (Elijah Prince), played by Samuel L. Jackson.
They are now joined by Kevin Wendell Crumb (and his many identities) played by James McAvoy from the 2017 thriller Split. Casey Cooke, played by Anya Taylor-Joy, was held captive by the most powerful of Crumb’s identities, the Beast. She returns to aid Crumb in controlling his personalities.
McAvoy’s portrayal of “the horde” was one of the most impressive parts of the film as he effortlessly portrayed over a dozen personalities. Critics had high expectations after his exceptional performance in Split, but he met and surpassed those expectations, switching between personalities with just a flash of light.
Anya Taylor-Joy’s portrayal of Cooke was also very impressive. The emotion shown when she was informed that they had found her captor felt so raw. Her conviction to help Crumb despite what he put her through is powerful enough, but coupled with Taylor-Joy’s sincerity, it became a very powerful part of the film.
Shyamalan impressively combines two narratives created almost 20 years apart. This was a sequel that was somewhat surprising, being a big twist at the end of Splitwhen Dunn appears on screen.
Although many have claimed it fails to meet the status quo of a superhero movie, it isn’t trying to. It creates a whole new superhero universe, where they look just like us and live among us but have superhero-like qualities like resistance to injury, extreme intelligence and knowledge, or animal like strength.
Senior Rowan Meyers prefers the more realistic superhero characters.
“I love M. Nights portrayal of the psychological effects of people with extraordinary abilities and how the world would react in a realistic scenario. Additionally, I prefer hero movies that are much less extravagant and like they would be in real life. Also, I find the characters of Shyamalan’s universe more complex and interesting than those of other superhero universes,” said Meyers.
Although he enjoyed the movie overall, no film is without fault.
“While I did say I liked the characters, one exception would be the psychiatrist Dr. Ellie Staple played by Sarah Paulson. Her character was in my opinion, logically flawed and somewhat unbelievable. Because believability seems to be a staple in Shyamalan’s movies, her character does not fit,” said Meyers.
While a superhero film may seem difficult to relate to, the movie touches on some real-life issues.
“It touches on a subject many try to avoid in life, natural human insecurity. In the film these people feel threatened by these extraordinary people and what they can do, so they become scared. This fear in real life drives communities or even nations to make rash decisions not based in reason. As seen in the film, these decisions can sometimes be horrifying. What I think the film is showing us is to not let these insecure feelings drive your decisions in life, and you should accept who you are and what you have so you can build a more rational and positive future,” said Meyers.
To see the trailer, click below.