I will start with what I liked about Glass: the idea that if you believe in yourself, you can achieve extraordinary things. That is it. That is all I liked about this movie, though it does bear some thought. God’s love dwells within all of us, and by believing in ourselves we take part in that which is all-present and eternal. I think that is pretty extraordinary.
Where Glass begins to shatter is in that very concept of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. There is nothing ordinary about David Dunn (Bruce Willis) or The Horde (James McAvoy, and truth be told, I have no idea what else to call his character), or Elijah Price, for that matter. They can all perform amazing feats: Dunn is really strong and seemingly invincible; The Horde (when for lack of a better word, he is in Beast-mode) can literally climb up walls; and Price is a really good thinker. Outside of the last one, these are abilities that you and I cannot possess.
If some of this sounds familiar to you, it is because this is the third installment of a trilogy featuring these characters, all directed by M. Knight Shyamalan. The first was Unbreakable (2000), the second was Split (2016), and now Glass. I have not seen the previous two, and it quickly became apparent that you needed to see the others to fully grasp what in the blue blazes was going on in this movie. To this reviewer, that is just lazy writing, and at some point while watching it, I decided that it should be renamed Assumptions. Hey, Mr. Shyamalan, your films have not been good for some time, so please do not assume all the people handing over their hard-earned money will just get whatever it was you were trying to convey.
To illustrate the sea of confusion that is Glass, I turned to the person I saw the film with about fifteen minutes into it and asked if she knew what the heck was going on. That is usually not a good sign, and from there the rest devolved into the absurd. Incidentally, the person I saw this with is a mental health professional, and much of it is set within a psychiatric ward. The three major characters mentioned above were brought together by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) so that she could fulfill the agenda of some kind of secret organization with clover tattoos bent on ridding the world of superheroes (if you are laughing at that concept, know that is only the tip of the iceberg with the superhero theme and the ridiculousness of it). However, this was not apparent for the overwhelming majority of the movie, and I kept (nearly out loud) wondering why this woman would want to bring together all these dangerous people? Why does she want to convince them that they are just regular people with regular problems? Where I was most offended was when she stated, “There just can’t be gods among us. It’s not fair.”
The setting of Glass cannot be passed over, though, without mentioning the staff of the psychiatric ward that was at the disposal of Dr. Staple. This was what got the most chuckles from my fellow movie-goer. In M. Knight Shyamalan’s opinion, apparently one nurse is enough to watch an entire ward at times. Thus, when these enhanced individuals start testing their boundaries to the maximum, death and destruction all too inevitably ensue. Price outwits everyone, commits murder, unleashes The Horde, and Dunn batters his way through a steel door. What was the dumbest moment for me was when Dunn was drowned in a puddle. He had burst through metal, punched his way out of a water tank, and flexed his power in other ways, only to die in an inch or two of water?
I understand that M. Knight Shyamalan is know for the twists in his films. As with his previous works, like The Sixth Sense (1999), there are various clues throughout that when you get to the twist it neatly sums up the whole film. But that does not happen in Glass. It is scene after scene of inexplicable events, and when that twist comes, it leaves you with more questions than answers.