Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery Review: Your next Netflix obsession is nearly here
Writer/director Rian Johnson’s follow-up to his 2019 breakout hit Knives Out, Glass Onion, is another masterfully crafted mystery full of engaging characters and complex storytelling that has you hooked through every twist and turn.
The film brings viewers onto the private island of wealthy tech CEO Miles Bron (Edward Norton) as he brings his close circle of friends together for a murder-mystery weekend during the COVID pandemic. The guest list includes Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who finds that his invitation might serve a greater purpose as the festivities get underway. As the night progresses, a real murder plan begins to unfold and it’s up to Blanc to not only figure out who has murderous intentions but also uncover the truth behind a wider conspiracy that’s tearing at this powerful group of friends.
It’s really a treat to not only have Craig back as Blanc but have him back in a larger role. In Knives Out, he was just kind of a supporting character that would appear to tie everything together. Here though, Blanc definitely leads most of the film as he finds himself inserted into this tight knit inner circle that isn’t without their problems. Craig once again brings a great mix of comical goofiness and jaw-dropping wit to Blanc that makes him endlessly enthralling to see do anything.
Whether he’s detailing the events leading up to the present based on his observations or attempting to sleuth out some answers, Blanc is just such an engaging character. There’s even a moment where he just spoils all the fun of Miles’ murder mystery plan that’s incredibly hilarious and you’ll be in stitches hearing the roast he gives towards someone for their uncreatively. Blanc is truly a gem and he’s such a fun centerpiece that Johnson continues to make more intriguing and unexpectedly complex.
Johnson’s writing ability has never flourished so strongly as this group of obnoxiously rich and self-centered elites are both hilarious and oddly compelling. Once again, Johnson’s brought together an unexpectedly great casting combination that constantly delivers great laughs and adds their own flavor the story. Kate Hudson easily gives one of the funniest performances of the film as controversial fashion designer Birdie Jay as everything that comes out of her mouth hilariously leaves the rest of the group stunned in silence and disbelief. Norton also thrives as Miles with the presence he has, and his unique brand of manipulation and power over the group makes you ponder the intentions of his every move. Plus, Janelle Monae delivers a career-best performance in an unexpected role that shows her incredible range.
Glass Onion’s mystery though is its strongest element as Johnson has once again cooked up a richly delicious tale of deceit and murder that keeps you completely enamored to the very end. Although things start relatively simple, the film quickly starts pouring out a stream of details and perceptions that instantly get your wheels turning. Then, before you know it, you feel like Benoit trying to piece together every detail to get the full scope of what’s really going on. Yet, there’s always a hidden layer that Johnson has slipped under scenes that make for incredible reveals and revelations. Also, Johnson really plays up the meta feel of Glass Onion being a murder-mystery within a murder-mystery party. There are plenty of fun references to murder-mystery games that audiences will quickly relate to and love. It’s just another example of Johnson making these films a love letter to the genre and why he’s quickly become a master at this kind of storytelling.
It’s honestly impressive how Johnson has managed to outdo himself with Glass Onion’s storytelling as it always manages to utilize its characters and their personal parts in the story perfectly. Just when you think things are heading in a certain direction, you’re stunned to find that there’s a deeper secret still buried waiting to be unleashed. There’s a turn midway through Glass Onion that’s nothing short of legendary with how it puts an unseen character in the spotlight and completely pulls back the curtain on everything you’ve just seen up to that point. It literally changes everything because of how it breaks the story wide open, and you easily find yourself hooked all over again. It’s one of the most mind-blowing turns in a film in recent time and leads to an immensely captivating, explosive, and entertaining finale.
Glass Onion is another must-watch mystery from Johnson that proves him to be not only a modern master of the genre, but also one of the strongest writers currently working in film. Its mystery is tantalizing from the start and its intriguing and often hilarious cast of characters will keep you entertained and glued to the multi-layered and mind-blowing mystery that keeps you guessing till the very end. Glass Onion SHOULD be your next obsession because it’s simply too compelling to pass up.