Cakes Takes on Glass Movie Review
So I watched this movie back in early January and I had higher hopes for it than I probably should have, but I was not as let down as others. I am not one to shy away from a bad (or perceived as bad) ending because I always try to think of what drove the writer to push the characters towards their ending. I also try to look at the bigger picture or message that was possibly being projected due to the ending. M. Knight Shyamalan started building this small universe almost twenty years ago and I love the structure of how he told his superhero story; over the course of three films about each of the main three characters in the franchise, over two decades.
In the first film of the three, Unbreakable, released all the way back in 2000 as a followup to Shyamalan’s breakout directing role in The Sixth Sense, cementing his quirk of having a great twist in his films. The movie, Unbreakable, is about a man, David Dunn, who survives a train crash with no damages and figures out over time that he has never been sick, broken a bone or hurt himself in anyway and that he is unbreakable (“roll credits”, as my guys at Cinema Sins and GNC would say lol). This is where we meet THIS film’s title character! To his surprise, another man, Elijah Price, knows about it as well, who is also looking for his opposite. Elijah has a bone disease that makes his bones like glass and hard for him to move around without a wheelchair, but has the brain of a mastermind. He nudges David to figure himself out, leading him to find more out about his superhero powers and abilities that he possesses and never knew about. He even finds out why and how he is good at his work as a security guard. Throughout the film, he comes to see that Elijah has been behind a lot of the destruction and things that have transpired around him for a while now and reports him to the police and he is taken away to a mental institution. At the end of the movie, he takes on his own super villain name, Mr. Glass.
In the second film, Split, released so far down the line that no one even knew it was going to be connected to such an older movie, in 2016. It is a movie about a young man, Kevin Crumb, with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) that kidnaps three teenage girls and keeps them holed up in cells underground somewhere. He immediately reveals to them that he has 24 different personalities through coming in and changing his demeanor on a whim and scaring them, while he cares for them. He does feed them and some of his personalities are even nice enough to help them with things, but they are still trapped. Casey, the main female character, finds out that Kevin has access to his own set of powers through one of his personalities that scares all of the other people living in his mind: The Beast. The Beast is strong enough to bend steel bars, run at top speeds and shrug off wounds easily although Kevin’s body does not physically change MUCH. Eventually, Casey is rescued and we end up seeing the only scene that connects this movie to the last. It is a shot of Bruce Willis’s character, David Dunn in a coffee shop acknowledging that he is not only also in this universe, but he mentions “Mr. Glass”, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, as well, so now we know that this is a small movie universe!
SO! This movie, Glass, connects directly to Split in characters and storyline as well. We get a culmination of all of the characters of the past two films that we’ve seen. So in this movie, we open up with David, who has now dubbed himself as “The Overseer”, tracking down Kevin Crumb, or “The Beast” rather, with his son. (His son is actually played by the same actor that played him all the way back in the day when they made the first film, Unbreakable, and I thought that was a cool form of continuity that they kept there.) They’re about to have their own bout as David tries to capture him, but they both end up captured and put into a mental institution, the same one that Elijah “Mr. Glass” has been in this whole time. They’re all being treated as mental patients, who believe that they are bigger than what they are and more than what they all are: humans. However, each of them know better in their own way. David had to grow to even believe in himself to acknowledge the fact that he had super powers, so if this experiment would work on anyone, it’d be him probably. Glass has been faking sedation the whole time he’s been in the institution and has been concocting a scheme on how to get out and to find a way to get David to fight The Beast as well. His smarts do get him out of his prison and the ball rolling and he even manages to manipulate Kevin into playing a part in his plan. At the end, we do end up discovering that again, the same as in the first movie, Unbreakable, that Elijah was once again behind EVERYTHING for the past twenty years that has happened to all of them in the story. His body may be bogus, but his mind is his strongest asset! He strategically puppetered their super powered lives in some way or another ever since he found the desire to find his opposite, years ago. Obsessed with comic books and heroes, he made a comic book life of a man with his mind. His plans were very well put together and worked out great until a certain point surprisingly! Even his mother was proud in a weird way, we could tell as a viewer, because of the manner in which he technically won the war over the battle at the end of the day.
All three of the films give off a sense of realism to the superhero genre, as well as a spin on different subject matter regarding mental health and belief in oneself. M. Knight Shyamalan was criticized for the way that he portrayed mental health in this film, but as a fictional writer, I’d say he did a good job of showing it in an outlandish way. It’s not for educational purposes, it’s for movie purposes because as a film, it did make me go look up personality disorders and body diseases. Although this movie did not live up to what I wanted it to be, it did have little aspects of what I was expecting to see anyway. A smart man putting together smart plans and from the eyes of the villain mostly. It did that in small doses and in waves. I did like how each of the three movies focused on a character solely and this one concluded them all. The first movie dedicated to the Unbreakable man, David Dunn. Split is about Kevin Crumb’s personality disorder and how that got him into the situation he was in in this third movie, which is called Glass and about Mr. Glass and his master plan to create a comic book life for himself. The scenes where they met, gave me what I needed and wanted from them for all this time, but I didn’t get full off of it like I should after this long of a way without even knowing it. It just was only just enough.
While there is no MAJOR twist that you don’t see coming like most of the Shyamalan’s films, we do get an ending that I believe was trying to be deep or purposely unpopular. It showed another side of how life can be, unfortunately, and unlike some other superhero mediums. Either way, I understood the vibe that they were going for and appreciated it, even if I did not love it, because it takes balls to give an ending that you know people may not like. The movie never met the real potential that it had to me, but it did do a good job of closing out its own franchise very well. It’s worth a watch, especially if you’ve seen the two movies connecting to this one.