Funny, exciting, and intoxicatingly engrossing, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is as close an equivalent of a great mystery novel as an original movie can get.
We review the Netflix film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which does not contain spoilers.
Director Rian Johnson‘s spin-off/sequel to his highly entertaining 2019 mystery Knives Out is precisely what studio escapism should be. You have a big named cast with a deep bench. A script that’s whip-smart and marvelously constructed, which happens to be very funny and highly entertaining. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is as close an equivalent of a great mystery novel as an original movie can get.
The story now follows Daniel Craig‘s Benoit Blanc. Hercule Poirot type who has been in quite a rut of late. Primarily because of isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic. He’s depressed, spends long hours in bubble baths, and practically becomes apoplectic. The mindful and heedful private detective, like Matlock, Perry Mason, or any film or television of Sherlock Holmes, isn’t happy unless he’s trying to solve a complex murder. Then, like a beacon, he’s sent a life raft in the form of a giant puzzle in a beautifully gift-wrapped box. If you can solve the puzzle, you are invited to a tech magnet’s home – a Willy Wonka without the candy or the staff.
That man is Miles Bron (a hilarious Edward Norton, reveling in the role here), a multi-billionaire, a clear nod to Elon Musk-archetype, who has invited six of his old friends for a weekend getaway. Why? Well, for a good old-fashioned murder mystery party. And one that will become quite literal. One of them is You have a supermodel/fashion designer/cosmic nightmare, Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and her assistant, Peg (Game of Thrones‘ Jessica Henwick), who is on-call 24/7 to prevent her boss from consistently sticking her foot in her mouth.
The rest of the group includes A political candidate, Claire DeBella (WandaVision‘s Kathryn Hahn). She is the governor of Connecticut and is now looking to take a seat in the Senate. A research scientist, Lionel Toussaint (One Night in Miami‘s Leslie Odom Jr.), is looking to make gigantic strides in clean energy. You even have a loveable meathead Duke (Dave Bautista), who makes a living preaching men’s right-wing rights on Twitch. The sane one of the bunch seems to be his girlfriend Whiskey (Outer Banks‘ Madelyn Cline). She starts a friendship with the final invitee Cassandra Brand (Moonlight‘s Janelle Monáe), wonderful here in a tricky role). A woman who had a falling out with the group seems to be the biggest mystery Craig’s Blanc should solve.
I’m not sure if there is much more to say about Johnson’s deliriously entertaining sequel to Knives Out. Beside’s Tom Cruise saving Hollywood with a full-throttle, action-packed nostalgia machine last summer with Top Gun: Maverick, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery may be the most fun you’ll have at the movies this year. You also have a finely crafted movie-going experience with some of the finest teams of filmmakers Hollywood has to offer. Johnson’s disciple (and cousin), Nathan Johnson’s (Brick) exciting score that doubles as notes of musical puzzle pieces. Steve Yedlin‘s cinematography is always curious, even playful, and eye-catching. Not to mention the team — I mean this quite literally — behind the art direction makes every location seem as unique and stand-alone as the next.
There isn’t a single flawed turn in the entire film (and we haven’t even talked about Ethan Hawke‘s clever cameo). Craig has firmly established Blanc as a character franchise builder. Glass Onion: A Knives out Mystery is the perfect blend of writing, direction, and production while not forgetting the cardinal rules of a great mystery. Establish good character, an intriguing setting and plot, and a satisfying conclusion that allows the audience a chance to solve the riddle themselves. With Knives Out easter eggs galore, you have an exciting time at the movies with this one.
And many more installments for years to come.
What did you think of the Netflix film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery? Comment below.