Looking through a ‘Glass Onion’

Rian Johnson has made the perfect who-done-it and he must’ve realized that certain tropes regarding the whole genre cannot be improved. So Johnson solves the main crime in the first act of his new movie “Glass Onion.” The film is a follow-up of the lead character of Johnson’s previous “Knives Out.”

In fact the full title of the film is “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

Daniel Craig headlines as Benoit Blanc who finds himself invited to an exclusive private island off the coast of Greece and owned by eccentric billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). Perhaps not oddly Blanc seems to disappear repeatedly at the beginning of the film leaving the audience to wonder if the new characters that we meet are the leads.

Bron has a state of the art mansion but only uses faxes to communicate with the outside world. His Xanadu-esque retreat also seems to be the limits of his worldview.

The only thing better than the outstanding ensemble cast that includes Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Madelyn Cline, Leslie Odom Jr., and Jessica Henwick are select cameos from Angela Lansbury (playing herself) and Ethan Hawke and Hugh Grant. There are also cameos where two actors, both in the Marvel universe, don’t even cameo but are mentioned as punch lines as respectively the owners of a hard kombucha (9 percent) and a brand of spicy hot sauce with their faces on the logo. 

The purpose to all these disparate personalities converging together is to play a murder game.

Johnson jettisons the Agatha Christie style plot after he has Blanc quickly solve the crime du jour yet keeps the narrative full of mysterious twists and revelations. A constant stream of clever dialogue rolls off the mouths of the characters as they each have their moment in the sun.

Everything in “Glass Onion” seeks humor at the highest level of absurdity. The various twists are like puzzles but never confusing.

A crowd pleaser and a given as a new franchise for Netflix, “Glass Onion” is currently in select theaters and starts streaming on Netflix December 23.

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