On December 23, another long-awaited and high-profile premiere of the year was released on Netflix – the sequel to the highly successful detective “Bare Knives” in 2019. It is obvious that after its success, the question of whether there should be a continuation no longer arose. But here the streaming giant intervened in the situation and bought the rights to the next two parts for an obscene amount of money – and clearly did not lose. In this review, we explain why the sequel is still great escapist entertainment, but a slightly worse detective than the original.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Comedy detective genre
Directed by Rian Johnson
Starring Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Gunn, Janell Monae
Release year 2022
After the coolest detective in the world, Benoit Blanc, evicted privileged white Americans from a luxurious house and moved a Hispanic woman with a weak stomach there, the cursed covid happened. Now the hero, like last year’s Neo from The Matrix, languishes in a duck bath and misses the good old days when murders were solved, the lust for life was palpable, and James Bond movies were released on schedule.
However, Benoit realizes that it is not time to die, at least morally, when he receives a strange package from billionaire Miles Bronn. The same one was sent to five more addressees – the best friends of the rich man. These are: Connecticut Governor Claire Debella, scientist Lionel Toussaint, streamer Duke Cody and former supermodel Birdie J. The fifth was Bron’s former business partner Andi Brand, who had a strong quarrel with all the above-mentioned persons.
The mysterious parcel was an interesting puzzle, a kind of Lemarchamp casket without hooks and the risk of meeting the cenobites. Inside it was an invitation to a private Greek island. There, the organizer of the meeting decided not only to entertain his guests with swimming in the pool and elite alcohol, but also to stage his own murder, yes, for fun. However, when a real crime takes place, that’s where Benoit Blanc comes into play. So let’s stock up on popcorn.
Director and screenwriter Rian Johnson is a great young man. Over the past ten years, he managed to create, although not many tapes, but all of them had one or another success. He once successfully made up Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Bruce Willis and placed them in different time periods. And five years later, he published “The Last Jedi”, which performed well at the box office, but had many complaints from “Star Wars” fans.
“Bare Knives” of 2019 turned out to be a breath of fresh air for Johnson’s career, and for the audience, and for the dusty detective genre as a whole. While Kenneth Branagh pointedly admired the lush mustache of his Hercule Poirot in the frame, Johnson used the genre as a fertile ground for social and political satire. Meanwhile, he did not forget about the purely genre component – an exciting intrigue.
It was like that three years ago, and it’s like that now. A nice feature of Johnson’s cinematography is that it is much more interesting for him not to surprise with twists like “murderer – gardener”, namely with the fight to fight his way to the exposure of the criminal. That is, the main thing in “Glass Onion” is not “what” or “who”, but “how”.
And this approach looks successful thanks to attractive plot twists, long enough flashbacks, demonstration of events from different angles and general multi-layered narrative. It really does resemble the same glass onion that is Miles Bronn’s estate. Everything seems to be transparent and clear, but in order to prove the truth, it is necessary to remove layer by layer what is superfluous, what prevents reaching the goal.
At the same time, Johnson once again allows himself a lot of irony, especially Kate Hudson, who plays a dumb glamorous top model, amuses here. But if the first film criticized Trump’s politics, and it was still relevant then, now they are laughing at something that is already a little outdated. For example, over covid. Although the latter takes little attention.
But the one who gets the best is Elon Musk. Not to say that Johnson’s satire is devastating and sharp as a knife blade, but it makes it clear what the author thinks about the modern “genius-billionaire-philanthropist”. And in addition, about all those influencers, politicians and other high-status darmoides who luxuriate in abundance, but do not represent anything of themselves.
“The Glass Onion” gives you almost everything that the tape of three years ago: here you have an exciting intrigue, a powerful cast, and interesting satire, and several pleasant cameos. And there are also various cultural references — from the Mona Lisa in the frame to The Beatles song in the title. The film favors the process over the result, although at times it feels less refined than the first installment. And now the main question. Ilona, should we expect @rianjohnson’s Twitter account to be deleted anytime soon?
Pros: good intrigue, interesting development of the plot, excellent cast, witty comedy component, luxurious scenery designed to emphasize some features of the characters, light casual atmosphere Cons: less sophisticated twists compared to the original, and lovers of shocking and unexpected solutions in detective stories the ending will disappoint Conclusion:
“Glass Onion” should be perceived as a decent and extremely pleasant entertainment near the screen and nothing more. And the sun-kissed Greek island makes you want to go on vacation. In the Ukrainian Crimea, for example