The Daily Gamecock

Review: ‘Glass Onion’ features dynamic characters reminiscent of real life

<p>Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" (Netflix/TNS). The "Knives Out" sequel premiered on Netflix on Dec. 23, 2023.&nbsp;</p>
Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" (Netflix/TNS). The "Knives Out" sequel premiered on Netflix on Dec. 23, 2023. 

Movie: "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery"

Streaming Release Date: Dec. 23, 2022

Director: Rian Johnson 

Run Time: 2 hours 19 minutes

Genre: Mystery, Crime

Rating: B+

In "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery," writer and director Rian Johnson cleverly uses multidimensional characters that are fun and entertaining to perfectly exaggerate real life. 

The movie starts during the COVID-19 pandemic, when Detective Benoit Blanc finds himself feeling purposeless from a lack of mysteries to challenge his mind and keep him busy. That is until he receives an invitation to a private island for a murder mystery dinner from rich CEO Miles Bron.

On the island, Blanc is welcomed to Bron’s Glass Onion estate along with scientist Lionel Toussaint, politician Claire Debella, former model and influencer Birdie Jay and her assistant Peg, men’s rights activist Duke Cody and his girlfriend Whiskey and to everyone's surprise, their former friend Andi Brand.

After the group's arrival to the Glass Onion, Bron pulls Blanc aside and reveals that he didn't invite Blanc who, in turn, reveals that he doesn't know who invited him either. Bron realizes something is amiss and notices that every one of his guests has a reason to want him dead. Blanc keeps a lookout for potential threats on Bron’s life until Cody is mysteriously poisoned, taking the mystery along an entirely new path.

As Blanc uncovers the mystery, the choices of the rest of the ensemble lead back to Bron. This detailed web of mishaps and blackmail shows great forethought from Johnson, but it leaves the need for an outside figure to unite the characters, giving Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, the perfect opportunity to steal the show. 

Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, is a quirky but well-respected character who forms endearing bonds with others, causing viewers to connect with him. However Craig's character is just one of many that make "Glass Onion" engaging and entertaining. 

Kate Hudson portrays Jay with great extravagance. Hudson has wonderful and perfectly executed comedic timing. While a fundamentally unlikeable character because of her flaws, she is wildly entertaining as an exaggerated stereotype of a washed up star.

Johnson efficiently defines characters at the beginning of the movie by throwing telling scenes at the viewer within the first few minutes of the film. We learn about them by their reaction to receiving the invitation and quickly understand their relationship with each other when all of their contrasting personalities are dumped in one setting.

The characters, while perhaps not as well-developed as the characters in the first "Knives Out," are incredibly dynamic. Characters like Toussaint and Debella, who turn out to be sellouts, are still redeemed in the end. Jay, an extremely shallow character at first glance, shows that she has been broken by the industry. Whiskey reveals that she is far more intelligent than she lets on and may just be holding her cards close to her chest. 

Johnson identifies modern stereotypes such as mens right activists, out of touch celebrities and billionaire tech moguls to connect to the characters we see in our everyday lives. This adds a comedic touch when we watch characters that we can identify in real life act foolish or be knocked down a peg.

Craig’s character connects all of the friends' incidents and creates a web of complexity within the group that makes solving the case thoroughly impressive. 

Blanc appears to go through much development between “Knives Out” and “Glass Onion”. While he is a quirky detective in both films, he is a far more laid-back and caricatured version of himself in “Glass Onion”. His exaggerated accent and goofy interactions with people, which have been much further developed in "Glass Onion," endear him to the viewers and adds a sense of whimsy to an otherwise dramatic film. 

Regardless, Craig puts much effort into creating a character who possibly underwent as much change over quarantine as the rest of the real world did.


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