Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case.

My Take – I think we can all agree that Knives Out (2019) was awesome. Considered a risky gamble at the time, the film proved to be a huge sensation right its first screening. Working wonderfully as an old-fashioned whodunit that saw writer-director Rian Johnson establish his own murder-mystery working model, positioned equidistantly between the Agatha Christie approach, in which the culprit is revealed at the very end, and the Columbo approach, in which important events happens at the very beginning.

With the film earning $312.9 million on a $40 million budget, Netflix ended up snapping the rights for a whopping $469 million and quickly announced two standalone sequels that would also be written and directed Rian Johnson and would see Daniel Craig return as the master sleuth, Benoit Blanc.

And as one could have easily suspected, especially considering the talent involved, the first sequel is a roaring crowd pleaser that is not only bigger, but perhaps even more brilliantly written, completely preposterous and highly entertaining. It’s hard not to be entertained by the film’s twisty, tangled narrative and the endless gags delivered by the brilliant cast of well-known Hollywood faces.

The strongest aspect is the story and, of course, the mystery. The one thing that held back the original for me personally was that I was able to theorize most of it. But this one is completely unpredictable and had me constantly guessing. The film benefits greatly from how the story is told non-linearly. It wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful if told in chronological order.

Sure, the 139-minute running time is perhaps a little indulgent, but after a bit of a slow start, things move along at a great pace. But one can’t help but thoroughly admire writer-director Johnson’s ability to build such a fascinating mystery and carry the story as confidently as he does. Perfection clearly isn’t his objective, it’s subjective and the film provides everything one would expect from a film like this; surprises, laughs and an enjoyable central mystery full of suspense.

Set during the pandemic, the story follows Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a very bored detective who has been spending most of his time sulking in the bathtub, that is until he receives an invite from Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a New York billionaire and owner of a large technology company called Alpha, to join him for a murder mystery weekend at his mansion, the Glass Onion, on his private island in Greece.

Joining Blanc are Bron’s close cohorts include politician Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), supermodel turned fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), Birdie’s assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), a streamer and men’s rights activist Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), Duke’s girlfriend and Twitch channel assistant Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), the head scientist for Miles’s company Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.) and most uncomfortably Cassandra Brand (Janelle Monáe), who had the original idea for Alpha but was ousted from the company some time ago by Miles and his lawyers without a dollar.

However, Blanc is surprised to learn that Bron didn’t actually invite him. Convincing Blanc with the idea that someone will actually kill the host and not fictionally as he had planned. Of course, things soon deadly serious leaving the ashen-faced guests turning to Benoit to save them.

With its succession of familiar faced cameos popping up all over the place director Johnson uncorks an absolute showstopper here. Honestly, it’s hard to talk about the film without spoiling any of its numerous pleasures. Without a doubt, it’s a notable step up from its predecessor in production value and the scope of the story. The sequel’s narrative is more complex, for better and for worse. It’s truly a film to be best experienced without prior knowledge of the plot or twists. Rian Johnson’s brilliant, assured direction is the crown jewel in this brilliantly enticing tale.

This time around, the comedy is a bit broader, and the jokes appear more often and with more of an impact. Given the film’s lengthier setup, the sequel is able to better sketch its suspects and players than the 2019 film. Whereas Knives Out taunts by making you think it revealed the killer in the first act, this one teases in a more restless way, and waiting just as long for a body to hit the floor. And those revelations are exquisite.

It’s not easy to pull off twists in this day and age but somehow, director Johnson makes it look easy. And just like its predecessor, director Johnson is intent on turning every whodunit trope on its head here, all while injecting the film with satirical social commentary. If Knives Out was a biting dissection of class and privilege, this one continues to explore those themes, just slightly more outrageously and with a bigger sense of fun.

Each character is crafted as a parody of some current issue: Birdie can’t help herself from tweeting racist things, Duke is walking toxic masculinity, Claire is the quintessential high-powered politician with a hidden agenda, and even Bron is a name-dropping billionaire whose lifestyle is a slap in the face to anyone without. Once again proving that exorbitant wealth doesn’t make you special, or even smart. It is clear this is but the beginning of a long franchise, and Rian Johnson continues to show his prowess as both a writer and as a director, and as long as he keeps making Benoit Blanc mysteries, well, there is some fun to look forward to.

Daniel Craig is once again hilariously on point with his performance as Benoit Blanc. Craig delivers what may very well be one of the best performance of his career thus far, digging deeper to make Benoit Blanc a compelling, complex character belonging to the great pantheon of detectives. Edward Norton probably gets the best written character of the lot, with plenty to chew on, who would have dominated the film were it not for Janelle Monáe, who initially comes off as low-key, but quickly emerges as perhaps the most impressive player in the whole set up.

Kate Hudson hilariously over-exaggerates her already caricature character and Dave Bautista continues to cement himself as a great comedic actor. While Kathryn Hahn, Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline and Leslie Odom Jr. are excellent. On the whole, ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is a thoroughly enjoyable whodunit romp that is meticulously crafted and deliciously thrilling.

Directed –

Starring – Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Jessica Henwick

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 139 minutes

One response to “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) Review!!

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Best Hollywood Films of 2022 – A MovizArk Take!!! | Welcome to Moviz Ark!·

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