Glass, the highly anticipated third installment in a series of films by M. Night Shyamalan tells the story of three characters believed to have superpowers. David Dunn (Bruce Willis), featured in Unbreakable, Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), featured in Split, and Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). Once they are captured and placed in a mental institution, they are analyzed and treated by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Keeping three superheroes or villains in a psychiatric hospital has never played out well, so of course, calamity ensues as we see the result of these characters being thrown into small spaces together. The plot becomes relatively difficult to describe without the risk of spoilers so I will stop there to preserve the story for anyone who may be reading.
While the beginning and end of the film are exciting and enticing for the audience, the middle of the film is where we find issues. The film struggles with the pacing and is overly bloated in the middle taking far too long to get to the culmination of the film. Some argue that it is a lack of action, but I don’t see that as a bigger issue than pacing and an overly bloated middle. At two hours and nine minutes, Glass doesn’t get to its point quickly enough for the audience to stay invested. It feels long and will likely see a few moviegoers nodding off at the halfway point.
The characters are one of the only things that had q chance of keeping the attention of the audience, and the performance by Samuel L. Jackson is one of his best in years. He was able to disappear into the character and truly become someone else. James McAvoy once again stuns the audience in his handling of so many different personalities in just one performance. Each character of his is nuanced and drastically different than the next. This role is a true testament to the incredible skills McAvoy has as an actor. The weakest performance of the three comes from Bruce Willis as David Dunn. I didn’t think his character was given much to work with from the beginning of the film and therefore left a desire for more from the audience. Also, Sarah Paulson as Dr. Staple was a colossal misfire for me. I think that her performance came off as forced, disingenuine, and poorly written. Her lines came off campy and overacted making her moments on screen some of the most awkward and offputting of the entire film. The other characters, seemingly forgettable, doing a fine enough job moving the story along, but aren’t particularly memorable.
Unfortunately, Glass is rather forgettable apart from the performances by McAvoy and Jackson. The rest of the film feels so bogged down by what it is attempting to say that it doesn’t pay off in the end. Likely to be a big disappointment for many fans of the two other films, Glass falls flat and leaves so much more to be desired. Missing the real oomph in the middle, the end of the film falls much flatter than it could have done otherwise.