“Glass” shatters “Unbreakable” trilogy fans’ expectations



Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy star as the three main characters in Glass.

Ben Rotko, Staff Writer

M. Night Shyamalan was unable to fully succeed in his long-awaited sequel to Unbreakable and Split.  Glass is the final installment to Shyamalan’s Eastrail 117 Trilogy, consisting of Unbreakable, Split, and Glass. Don’t worry–you don’t really need to have seen either of the preceding movies to understand the plot of Glass. 

When watching the movie, it seems that a lot of characters were set up to fail. A lot of the film is about setting up expectations, and then subverting them. 

Characters in the movie fail, succeed, and then the rug gets pulled out from under them.  Even though this is a Shyamalan film, so a rug-pull is expected, Glass delivers a series of four twists in its finale, ranging from clever to mind-numbingly painful.

The first twist is interesting in concept, but it’s implemented poorly and doesn’t work in the context of the larger series.

The second turn is split into three parts; one of them is executed very well with a lot of emotion, one felt annoying, and the last part might have worked, but was carried out in a poor fashion.  In comparison, the third twist is fine, though many viewers wished it were foreshadowed more. Finally, the last twist is legitimately excellent and sets up some very interesting paths for the future of this franchise.

Glass follows the stories of three main characters. David Dunn, the protagonist of Unbreakable who has superhuman strength, is played by a sleepwalking Bruce Willis. Elijah Price, the comic book-devotee and the main villain of Unbreakable who carried out mass murders in order to find someone with superpowers, is portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.  Finally, James McAvoy, who played Kevin Wendell Crumb in Split, returns as the popular character who suffers from extreme dissociative identity disorder. In Split, Crumb is shown as having 24 personalities and that are actually able to alter his body chemistry, and he comes back in this newest film with the 24th personality called “The Beast.” 

In Glass, Sarah Paulson plays the doctor, Dr. Ellie Staple, who captures the three and tries to cure all of them of their delusions of grandeur. Dr. Staple does not believe that these individuals have superpowers and seeks to treat them for them to acknowledge this.  The film does a decent job of putting some credibility to the idea that she’s right, despite the fact that the audience knows Dunn’s, Price’s, and Crumb’s powers are in fact real.  

The best part of the movie is unquestionably the visuals. Not in terms of mind-blowing effects or set pieces, but great cinematography. 

Mike Gioulakis was the cinematographer, and he took a stellar approach. Whenever possible, Gioulakis goes for the unorthodox shot. Reflections in mirrors, upside-down shots, shots through a pool of water.  All of which gives the film a sense of being cramped and claustrophobic. 

This carries through to the film’s two action scenes, both being shot in a way that emphasizes that superhero fights are real. There are very few wide shots, which adds to the sense of claustrophobia. 

The film’s favorite visual trick, which is noticeable on the film’s posters, is color-coding to match the characters.  Prince/Mr. Glass gets purple, Kevin/The Horde gets yellow, and David/The Overseer gets green.  The color-coding carries over to each character’s supporting character, who is also associated with their respective colors. Elijah has his mother, Kevin has Casey, the lone survivor from Split, and David has his son Joseph.

Other examples of this color-coding is when one of the characters goes to a comic book store to find information and the neon sign above the “heroes” section is green, while the one above the “villains” section is purple. 

“Even though it didn’t get the best reviews, it was an interesting movie. It had many twists,” said sophomore Ryan Joslyn. 

For some viewers, Glass paled in comparison to the previous movies.  However, it is worth the watch for people who enjoy reading comic books. The great cast, decisive cinematography, and legitimately suspenseful scenes managed to impress a number of viewers.