Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery arrives in cinemas for one week only on November 23rd and on Netflix on December 23rd.
I was pretty late to the Knives Out party the first time around, and I must confess, when I did see the film after putting some distance between myself and the hype, I was a little underwhelmed. In its efforts to get across the ill feeling percolating amongst the members of the Thrombey clan in that draughty mansion they were squabbling over, the film didn’t feel entirely inviting.
Still, I could understand why it made such a splash. After all, widespread franchise fatigue has seen people calling for the return of the mid-budget movie, something that falls between a low-budget critical darling and not another superhero movie. They want something with a visible spark of creativity with enough clout behind it that they can buy their tickets (or, indeed, purchase their streaming rentals) with confidence. A fresh take on the tried-and-tested murder mystery formula would seem to fit the bill.
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Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is where Rian Johnson’s approach to this formula really hits its stride. Without wishing to give too much away before the film gets its limited theatrical release in November and Netflix launch in December, we join Benoit Blanc as he finds himself invited to a reunion of old friends turned self-styled “disruptors” on a private Greek island. With a more streamlined pool of suspects than the previous instalment, Glass Onion sees Johnson easily spinning plates throughout the runtime. Here Daniel Craig remains on fine form as Blanc, while Janelle Monáe is the standout amongst an ensemble that also features strong comedic performances from Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista.
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The film is a much more overt Christie pastiche in its tropes. Again, to get into the specific twists and turns deployed that call to mind, Agatha’s mastery of the form would spoil the fun, and at the end of the day, that’s what this is. In the absence of a protagonist with a dynamic character arc and an ever-changing lineup of supporting players, a great whodunnit in the classic Christie mould is all about the trimmings. It’s also not meant to be lingered on too long after the first viewing. Some of the elements in play in Glass Onion will date it faster than its predecessor, but for me, that’s simply all the more reason to get it while it’s hot.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery contains enough twists, turns and flourishes to satisfy and delight fans of the classic whodunnit. Like the original, this is a film that deserves to be seen on the big screen with a big crowd, so if you can catch it in cinemas before its Netflix release, all the better.
Though its pleasures could potentially be fleeting, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery contains enough twists, turns and flourishes to satisfy and even delight all those who love a classic whodunnit. So get it while it’s hot!