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Film Review: Glass Onion - A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Kelaru & Fulton rating: ★★★

Available on: Netflix | Runtime: 2hr 19 min


Oscar nominated writer-director Rian Johnson is at it again this year with another murder due to be solved by the keen-eyed detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) in this year’s Glass Onion - A Knives Out Mystery. And while the director is not reinventing the wheel of murder mystery films, this is an engrossing, funny and expertly crafted film with a stellar cast and full of twists and turns. Part 2 of the scheduled 3 films is reassuringly confident in its storytelling and promises a fulfilling future for the franchise.

The scene of the crime this time is a remote private island owned by the Steve-Jobs-type billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), where he invites his closest friends and confidants, all larger-than-life characters with their own murky pasts, secrets, problems and dilemmas. And that’s about all the similarities between ‘Glass Onion’ and ‘Knives Out’: exotic setting and rich characters.

Which is what makes this sequel on par if not better than the first outing. The director takes its time to dig deeper into the backstory of these characters while having fun on the way, poking holes at capitalism, lifestyles of the rich and famous, influencer culture, pandemic concerns, current energy crises - all peppered with delightful cameo appearances from real life personalities.

But best of all is that Rian Johnson has gone all-in on humor and it paid off big time. ‘Glass Onion’ is filled with laugh-out-loud moments and the types of ultra-clever jokes that will make you want to cheer, all stemming from the character’s personalities.

Which brings us to our main suspects: there’s clueless model / recent fashion designer Birdie (Kate Hudson); rights activist with a knack for the controversial Duke (Dave Bautista); stressed-out Senate candidate Claire (Kathryn Hahn); a scientist with a conscience that works for a billion-dollar tech company Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.) and the owner of the billion-dollar company and host of the party Miles Bron (Edward Norton), joined by the surprise turnout Andi (Janelle Monae), Miles former business partner who had a falling out in the past that turned nasty.

They are all invited to Miles island for a weekend getaway where he wants to stage a murder mystery party, specifically, he will be the one murdered. You can probably guess where this is going: the fake murder turns into a real one. But who takes the knife (or bullet) in the back is not to be revealed here or else Benoit’s role will turn utterly pointless.

The film also invites the viewer to take a guess early in the film at who the murderer is and does its best to convince you otherwise until the very end.

All-in-all, the film is like a perfectly balanced dish: the characters and plot are the beef steak, the Greek setting (filmed on location) is the deliciously exotic side and the steak knife (pun intended) is Benoit Blanc, having great fun with solving the mystery and Daniel Craig sinking his teeth in playing the character.

Everybody gets rewarded in the end: Benoit gets his iPad and we get what we expected to see: a whipsmart whodunnit with tons of laughs, memorable characters and subtle critique of the early pandemic times. Fun, fun, fun.



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