Glass Onion solidifies Knives Out as the next great mystery franchise

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc as one of the great fictional detectives of our time—and it only took two movies to get there. This is no easy task in a field dominated by giant figures like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Nick and Nora Charles. But what’s disturbing at first but ultimately Southern charm helps set him apart, as thrown in by Riddle Box tales, are satisfying mysteries not only in their own right but also a lot of funny. it was true of the original knives out, and the sequel (with its slightly confusing name) takes things a step further: the cast is more eclectic, the mystery is more complicated, and the rich assholes are richer and more assholes. In short, the sequel is a delight. It won’t necessarily win over new audiences, but it’s just the thing fans of the original need — and it’s exactly what Netflix needs for its blockbuster cinematic aspirations.

glass onion Starts off a bit more playful than its predecessor. A Mark Zuckerberg-esque tech billionaire named Miles (Edward Norton) has invited his closest “disruptive” friends to a weekend retreat on his private island in Greece. The group consists of Duke (Dave Bautista), an MRA YouTuber, and his budding influential girlfriend Whiskey (Madeline Cline); Connecticut Governor Claire (Katherine Hahn); a model, fashion designer, and often racist tweeter who goes by Birdie J (Kate Hudson) and her more level-headed assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick); world-renowned scientist Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.) who works with Miles on more outdoor projects; and Andy (Janelle Monáe), a former turned business partner of Miles. Oh, and then there’s Benoit, the world’s most famous detective (in the movie).

The subject of a weekend retreat? A murder mystery party where guests have to solve the mystery of Miles’ death.

The film is set in 2020, and at the beginning, Benoit is hopelessly bored. With the outbreak of the pandemic, he spends his time in the bath among us On Zoom with your celebrity friends. So when the invitation appears, which comes in the form of an intricate puzzle box, he jumps at the chance.

It’s hard to say much without getting into spoiler territory (and you’ll definitely want to experience glass onion uncorrupted, if possible), but as you can imagine, fictional murder eventually turns into a real crime that needs to be solved. The mystery is a complex one. Despite their very different careers, everyone on the island is connected to each other in significant ways, especially when it comes to Miles and his vast fortune. And the film makes the meal of unpacking it in a delightfully satisfying way. There are many moments of payoff glass onion that it is hard to maintain. And if you don’t even care that much about the conclusion, the way there is a lot of fun.

It largely comes down to the cast of characters. The Thrombey family from the original film has nothing on this group of porn-rich jerks — and every member of the cast clearly has a great time being in those roles. Norton, in particular, is incredibly punchy as the touch tech mogul, who eschews celebrity names with reckless abandon. (On the island, everyone drinks Jared Leto’s hard kombucha and uses a small-batch hot sauce made by Jeremy Renner.) Duke is such an MRA fanatic that he swims with a pistol tucked into his Speedos. , which doesn’t make a subtle phallic connection, while Birdie J’s many public blunders — such as comparing herself to Harriet Tubman — are a pitch-perfect indictment of superficial celebrity culture. Everyone is so disgusted that it’s so nice to see them go through this whole traumatic experience.

Dave Bautista and Madeline Kline in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Dave Bautista and Madeline Kline Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,
Image: Netflix

But as great as everyone else is, the real attraction is Craig and Mona. as much as i loved before knives outI wasn’t necessarily sold on Benoit as a character. The highlight of that film, I felt at the time, was watching this wealthy family unravel the mystery. In order of knives out In order to become a franchise rather than a one-off, they had to become more interesting. And that Southern charm grew increasingly on me through a mix of Benoit’s self-confidence (he knows he’s a brilliant detective, at one point “this crime clashed with Benoit Blanc’s presence”) and a warm kind of humility. . His big brain doesn’t cause him to put people down, and he harbors a special kind of contempt for the 1 cent. Who cares if he sounds like Foghorn Leghorn? It’s hard to say much about Mona without getting into serious spoiler territory, so I’ll be vague in saying that she shows an incredible amount of range and helps propel the second half of the film. It is a pleasure to see her work with Craig.

on paper, glass onion It is not necessary that he innovate everything. Like the original and many of its cinematic predecessors, it’s a pretty classic whodunit that doesn’t stray too far from that mold: it just happens to be a really Well-crafted example at a time when there isn’t much competition. It also does things that seem like bad ideas, like taking a long explanation to wrap things up. But it still works through willpower: The hilarious writing and amazing performances mean I’m ready to say anything about Mr. Blank. The payoff is worth letting the film indulge itself in any case.

glass onion The film is particularly important for Netflix as well. While the streaming service has proven itself capable of creating popular TV franchises, movies have not come so easily. So Netflix did the next best thing: buy a franchise. The company spent a lot of money on the sequel knives out, and at least so far, it looks like it may have been a good investment. Time will tell whether Benot Blanc’s name joins those rare heights of Holmes and Poirot, but in two films, he’s off to an excellent start.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Streaming will begin on Netflix on December 23rd, but will be in select theaters sometime before that. This review is based on a screening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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