BE WARNED: If you are going to see this movie and don’t want to know anything about it before you go, stop reading this now!
I am a fan of M. Night Shyamalan. That is a fact. It is not a secret. Unbreakable was one of my favorite films. Split was also, pretty fantastic. James McAvoy did a superlative acting job. Well, superlative might even fall short in describing how well he did. And because both movies were incredible, I was so excited to see Glass.
With that being said, I do understand that sometimes expectations can give someone an inflated sense of what to expect, or, in other words, unrealistic high-hopes, and I admit, I have been guilty of that from time to time. Just ask my son about me and any movie involving Superman and you’ll know what I mean.
But this movie…I just couldn’t get behind. It started off kind of wrong. The audience is introduced to David Dunn as he pummels some teens? adults? who had assaulted some man walking home. They filmed it, to upload later, and there is David Dunn breaking into their house to break their faces. Okay. I guess.
From there, it goes to him helping four girls escape from The Beast. There were some cool scenes, for sure, because it is M. Night Shyamalan here, but from there it all goes downhill. And to me, it never really recovers.
So, the girls escape and The Beast and David Dunn go through a glass window and when they land, there are a bunch of cops and a random psychologist there. This random psychologist has flashing lights that make James McAvoy flip through the multiple characters inside him. They are caught and this random psychologist (why was she even there again?) directs the police to take them immediately to a psychiatric institution. No jail, no court, just straight to the psychiatric institution. That would never, ever, happen. Like ever.
And guess who also happens to be at this psychiatric institution? Yup. Mr. Glass. What? Why?
And now this psychiatrist tells them she has three days to convince them that they are not in fact superheroes or they can never leave the institution? Huh? I know there are 72hour evaluations on people who have displayed that they are an imminent danger to themselves or others but that does not mean at the end of it you are stuck in the institution forever if you don’t pass their tests. Again. Why is this in the movie? Do the research.
And you know what she does next? Has group therapy with them. That’s right. Two mass murderers and David Dunn, together in a room, while she tries to convince them that they are not special. I don’t get any of this. Never mind that they had The Beast and David Dunn in rooms across from each other, two guys who were fighting each other on the streets can see each other across the hall. That would never happen. Or how about the girl who was almost murdered by The Beast feeling sorry for him and wanting to help him? Huh? Or David Dunn’s son, who had been helping his dad for years fight crime, begins to doubt David’s abilities and, in an even more incredulous fashion, David starts to have doubts himself. Why, oh why?
And this secret group of people who know there are exceptional people but are afraid of the knowledge getting out so they try to get the exceptional people to believe they are in fact, not exceptional? This random psychiatrist is one of them which, in a weird way, explains why she was there at the beginning but there was no set-up to this. It was thrown in there, seemingly for the sole purpose of getting these three meta-humans together to make a film, and because that seemed to be the only reason, it didn’t work. There were so many other ways to explore to make this work.
Even Mr. Glass’ big mastermind twist was a, who cares twist? He tricked the people who were trying to hide the truth of exceptional people by getting them to install cameras everywhere all over the facility. Then he engineered the showdown and uploaded the video to David Dunn’s son, the girl who loved her abductor (yes, I know all about Stockholm syndrome but c’mon!) and Mr. Glass’ mother so they could upload it to the world. Now, let me ask you, if you saw something on YouTube or whatever, that showed someone doing something incredible, would you believe that they were meta-humans? Would you? Or would you be more inclined to think some special effects were utilized?
I don’t know. I left the theatre a little sad. Because I really, really like M. Night Shyamalan. And I still do. I just didn’t like this film.
If you’ve seen it, let me know what you think. I’d be interested to know.