Commentary by Juliana Childs
Here’s what Rian Johnson wants you to know. ‘Glass Onion’ is not the sequel to ‘Knives Out,’ which captivated both audiences and critics at the box office in 2019. Johnson, the film’s writer and director, intended this to be a self-contained story and not another chapter in the whodunit series. If you’re expecting a sequel movie, you’ll be disappointed. The main character in this film is the only thing the two stories have in common.
This time, Detective Benoît Blanc exchanges his stylish suit and glasses for resort wear and sunscreen after receiving a mysterious invitation to a special murder mystery party on the Greek islands. Bran arrives on the island, interacts with the other guests, and discovers that they all have a personal connection to the party’s host, Miles (Edward Norton). But the sport turns into tragedy when real crime shatters the party festivities. Everyone becomes a suspect as their backstories are revealed.
Janelle Monae gave a great performance as movie superstar and Miles’ former business partner Andy, surprising everyone with her arrival on the island. Andy and Bran work together to peel back the layers of façade surrounding people with motives for lying and, in some cases, killing.
Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Detective Bran lacks the rhythm and grace of his performance in “Knives Out.” Foghorn at His Best In his Leghorn impressions, he delivers some of the film’s funniest lines and moments.
Johnson struggles to find the rhythm between exposition and conflict as he trots through the plot at a dizzying pace. Still, it’s fun to keep up with the film’s surprising twists.
Painted in bright colors and shimmering imagery, “Glass Onion” is a delightful whirlwind of cameos and fashion, with plenty of wit. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.