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Glass & The Uprising of M. Night Shyamalan

When Bruce Willis appeared uncredited at the end of murderous box hit office Split (2016), audiences gasped at the resurgence of equally praised, maligned director M. Night Shyamalan and recall of one of his most beloved thrillers, Unbreakable (2000).

Linking the events in Split momentarily with characters of Unbreakable, had long-time fans rejoicing of what might come next. Superior acting talent James McEvoy played a multiple personality being who kidnaps and kills in Split in almost complete innocence due to his disorder until one of the hostages escapes by reasoning, then tricking him that ultimately brings out the beast.

Glass reunites Bruce Willis as David Dunn who survived a train crash after everyone else did not. He has a gift, with Samuel L. Jackson as wheelchair bound Elijah Price, a man with extremely brittle bones. Amazing sharp talent Anya Taylor-Joy returns from Split as Casey Cooke, former hostage who turns the tables.

I will not reveal anything regarding Glass here, it’s ok, I hyped it up within myself so much it failed to deliver. However trademark director twists abound and interesting mix of characters from various eras coagulate with unpredictable shocks.

Viewed alone, Glass is an effective thriller-horror. Watching Unbreakable again will definitely be of benefit to fill in gaps or references, while watching Split, as a lead up alone without Unbreakable is not as satisfying. Got it?

The writer, director with Alfred Hitchcock aspirations is worth your attention due to reputation. In a 2015 interview I conducted with the cool M. Night, this was his reaction on my question on whether he take notice of critics:

MNS – (quiet pause….) No not really, it’s not my concern whether they like the movie or not. That is certainly not where my energy should be. My job is to concentrate on character and story development, then go tell another story.

The career of M. Night Shyamalan has indeed been a rollercoaster since his Oscar nominated Sixth Sense to mediocre suspense yarns to deplorable turkeys to a twin peaks style television series, I’ve seen them all…

THE VISIT (2015): Effective, hand held camera ‘Sun-Downing syndrome’ obscurity. Two adolescents visiting their grandparents find out they may or may not be demented.

THE HAPPENING (2008): Will never forget the continuous deflated feeling I had the longer this debacle went on after a promising start. Laughable environmental virus tale.

SIGNS (2002): Impressive alien invasion crop circle mysterio. Strong cast, intriguing premise, well orchestrated jump scares.

AFTER EARTH (2013): Embarrassing futuristic father and son adventure stranded on a desolate earth has little satisfaction in the realms of science-fiction or drama appreciation.

THE SIXTH SENSE (1999): Academy Award nominee, global phenomenon coining the catchphrase ‘I see dead people’ demands multiple viewings. Holds up twenty years on.

THE LAST AIRBENDER (2010): Derived from Anime origins, dedicated fans of the classic series went ballistic at how this big screen version was treated. It subsequently tanked.

THE VILLAGE (2004): Certain residents of an isolated countryside community begin to question their beliefs. Intriguing although a ‘twist’ is easily spotted early in proceedings.

LADY IN THE WATER (2006): Odd adult fairy tale involving a mermaid from ‘blue world’ frequenting an apartment building pool catching the eye of the superintendent. This is no Splash.

 – Producer only –

WAYWARD PINES (2015-16): Decent science fiction TV series starts with a bang then elevates.

DEVIL (2010): One amongst a small group trapped in a lift are not what they seem. Minor thrills.

GLASS (Rated M – 129min)
IN CINEMAS NOW

Shane A. Bassett

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