Daniel Craig’s return to the whodunnit genre with the suave and overly charismatic detective, Benoit Blanc, provides a plentiful amount of fun and silliness as it unravels another mystery of murder, betrayal and deceit. Much like Blanc’s role in these stories, we follow its intricate plot and piece together the puzzle that unfolds and twists in front of our eyes.
Not to be deterred from the lukewarm reception of his Star Wars sequel The Last Jedi (2017), director Rian Johnson reminds us of what he can do with his own material. 2019’s Knives Out was a shining stand-out of the murder mystery genre and Glass Onion looks to reap the rewards previously set up by its predecessor.
When the members of a group who call themselves ‘The Disrupters’ receive an invitation to one member’s private island, they hadn’t accounted for the presence of the renowned detective Benoit Blanc. But when it’s revealed that Miles Bron (Edward Norton) has set up an elaborate murder mystery for his business pals, Blanc’s appearance appears to add a certain authenticity to the evenings proceedings. But as it turns out Miles never invited detective Blanc, and the other participants are just as baffled by his arrival.
Miles’ purposefully planned night goes awry when a real murder occurs. Leaving Blanc with few suspects, and plenty of motives.
Knives Out didn’t reinvent the murder mystery formula, but more adapted it in a smart fashion that provides plenty of creative narrative choices and character progressions. But Glass Onion really attempts something more unique if not rather unorthodox. A murder mystery within a murder mystery that bravely feeds you every piece of information in order for you to solve the case yourself, even if most of it will go straight over your head on first viewing. “It’s so dumb it’s brilliant” one character quips to which Blanc blasts back “No, it’s just dumb”, which is an accurate response to how you’ll feel by the time it all rounds off.
Blanc’s blasé response to Miles’ overly complicated and contrived composition is humorous and something that relays throughout its runtime. The interactions the Disrupters crew share with one another, and with detective Blanc, is one of the few things this sequel improves upon.
Glass Onion works with another star studded cast. Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson and Katheryn Hahn are amongst them. Each character having their own personality and serve perfectly like pawns on a Cluedo board. With Janelle Monáe being the surprising stand-out and moving the narrative in the most interesting of ways alongside Daniel Craig and his strongly Southern American (and often horrendous) accent.
2019’s Knives Out was a better adaptation of the classic murder mystery formula, but with Glass Onion we’re given something very different and seems comfortable with offering such. Even if not all the twists or narrative decisions are resolved in the most clever of ways, I respect Rian Johnson for attempting to switch up the genre that has seen more than enough entries in recent years.
In that discussion though, Johnson has put every other filmmaker in checkmate when it comes to a true murder mystery experience, and if he continues to craft more stories with detective Blanc it’ll be hard to knock him off the podium that these two movies currently sit atop.
I’ve watched both, can’t say I enjoyed either but stuck with them till the end…thought they were very tongue in cheek & an attempt at being funny, that didn’t work for me…couldn’t take Daniel Craigs attempt at a ‘southern’ accent seriously…glad I watched it on the telly & not actually paid money at a cinema to see them…!!!
I enjoy both significantly more than Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot movies though. But yeah, Craig’s southern accent was tough to hear.