Glass Onion: An Amazing Disappointment


Lionsmith, T-Street Productions

Kate Hudson, Jessica Henwick, Daniel Craig, and Leslie Odom Jr. in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (Lionsmith, T-Street Productions)

Kieran Murphy, Sports Editor

When I first heard that there was going to be a second Knives Out movie, I was ecstatic. The first movie was a cinematic masterpiece. Rian Johnson masterfully crafted the plot, the switch of genres and the twist villain. My hopes and expectations were sky high for this sequel. I was underwhelmed. This was an oddly mediocre movie from a director who is usually either hitting his productions out of the park or completely striking out.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a good movie. Had I gone into Knives Out 2 with little to no expectations, hoping only for a good time, I would have been happy. But as a fan of the first movie, I left feeling underwhelmed.

Overall I enjoyed the plot. What stayed the same from the original Knives Out was the way that Johnson places clues around his movie, ones that immediately reveal who the killer is but that you don’t realize are important until the bad guy is revealed. Then it becomes glaringly obvious.

For instance, the name Glass Onion is a callback to a song written by the Beatles about how people read way too much into their lyrics, sometimes there’s no double meaning. This turns out to be true for the plot as Miles Bron (played by Edward Norton) is revealed to be the killer before Daniel Craig’s Blanc even makes it onto the island. The theory brought up by Helen while waiting to get on the island is quickly dismissed however because it’s too simple, and Blanc says six important words. “Miles Bron is not an idiot.”

There are so many clues to who the real killer is at the very beginning of the movie. A perfect example of this is Miles’s reaction when Andi shows up on the island followed by him touching her shoulder as if to make sure that she was real and truly there. Later on he hands Duke a glass with contents that he’s allergic to right in front of everyone in an attempt to kill him. When revealed, it had me rewinding to see it again and again because I was in sheer disbelief.

Finally, the most important part of any murder mystery, the reveal. The ending is arguably the most crucial part to a who-dunnit. Without a good ending, the plot and buildup is wasted. I was shockingly disappointed by the ending. The first movie had such a clever ending, Martha tricking Ransom into admitting murder and then surviving as Ransom attempts to kill her with a fake knife, I was once again expecting more of the same in the second. Instead of this, the second movie ended with all of the characters smashing Miles’s belongings and using his “alternative energy” to torch the Mona Lisa. Rather than a killer being outsmarted it felt more like a tantrum thrown by a group of toddlers.

Another similarity between the two movies is the star studded cast. I enjoyed watching Edward Norton play the bad guy, the same role he played when I originally saw him in the Italian Job. Daniel Craig came back to play Benoit Blanc but with one main difference, he has a major fatal flaw. In the first movie, Blanc is portrayed as the perfect detective, someone who is able to instantly connect clues without jumping to conclusions as shown by him seeing the blood on Martha’s shoe at the beginning of the first movie. In the second movie, Blanc is seen as someone who dismisses the obvious conclusions in his quest to do things in the most convoluted way possible. Rather than investigate the most obvious suspect, he requires Andi (played by Janelle Monáe) to impersonate her dead sister and crash the island party.

While the casting was close to perfection, the character development left a lot to be desired. In the first of the two movies, the characters’ backstories were explored via interviews with a police Lieutenant. These interviews are played off one another in order to build not only mistrust between family members but also give each person their own motive for murder. In the Glass Onion, it is much more simple. As everyone sits around him, Miles goes through and explains how each person owes him. I was bored watching it.

The sheer atmosphere of the movie was a shell of what it was in the first Knives Out film. The first film starts out with the playing of an organ while looking on at a manor blanketed with fog and it only went up from there. The string of eerie music mixed with the movie mostly taking place in the manor gave a sense of closed framing and showed how Martha felt trapped more and more as her lies build and build. The rising action begins at the start of the movie and doesn’t break until the climax. This movie on the other hand was simply bland. It gave the impression of a lazy, trouble in paradise until about an hour in. Rather than jump into the murder mystery, you as a viewer are forced to sit and watch as the idea of murder slowly builds suspense.

Overall it was a fine movie. I watched it on Netflix, so I didn’t feel like I wasted money going and seeing it in theaters. I would rate it a solid 7/10. There was plenty of good within the beginning and middle of the movie but what’s the point of a good drive if you fumble the ball on the goal line. That being said, I’m excited to see a possible future for this franchise.