Film Review: “Glass Onion”

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Screengrab from: "Glass Onion"

“Glass Onion” is Rian Johnson’s sequel to the murder-mystery “Knives Out”. The film stars a slew of talent and released in theatres for a week before making it’s way to Netflix on Dec. 23.

Cassandra Bauer

Famed detective Benoit Blanc is back in another riveting murder mystery, this time set during a luxurious yet ludicrous Greek island getaway.

Following the success of 2019’s hit film “Knives Out”, writer director Rian Johnson releases the next chapter in his mystery series, following the cases of fictional detective Benoit Blanc portrayed by former 007 Daniel Craig. Sharing a title with The Beatles song “Glass Onion”, the film turns up the zany humor and the tone is given is a fun coastal breeziness.

Its one week limited theatrical run made “Glass Onion” eligible for award consideration but also got people talking about it before dropping on Netflix where it ranked as the top film on the platform for weeks. Already winning a handful of Critic’s Choice Awards, there is strong discourse that “Glass Onion” could be up for an Oscar at this year’s ceremony in March.

It all begins when an eclectic group of friends who call themselves the “disrupters” each receive a mysterious puzzle box, containing an invitation to tech genius and self proclaimed leader of the group, Miles Bron‘s (Edward Norton) private island for, fittingly, a murder mystery party.

This group consists of Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) a model who’s always mixed up in a social media scandal and her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) an up-and-comer politician, Lionel Toussanit (Leslie Odom Jr.) a timid scientist, and Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) a men’s rights YouTuber joined by his more than blonde bimbo girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline). Chasing the next case, Blanc finds himself at this over the top murder mystery party with these eccentric individuals which soon takes a darker turn, becoming more than just a game.

As always, Johnson expertly handles the ensemble cast, giving each character a distinct look and personality so that no one character blends into another. With an all star cast like this one, you can not dismiss any one of these stand out performances, which are each incredible in their own right. Craig leans into the “Kentucky Fried Chicken Foghorn Leghorn Drawl” more than ever before, hamming up our favorite southern gentlemen sleuth for many moments that are truly delightful. However, I haven’t even mentioned the star of the show who steals a fair number of scenes. The unexpected guest at Mile’s gaudy party is his chic ex business partner Andi Brand, played by Janelle Monáe, who acts as a mysterious entry point to the growing conflict.

Not afraid to embrace the tropes of the classic whodunit, “Glass Onion” delivers a quintessential story, full of twists, turns, and jaw dropping moments in all the right places. Once again Johnson packs this indulgent romp with humor ranging from ironic commentary on winy rich boys to prime slapstick gags. The film contains strong critiques on class and alludes to the all too familiar tech “geniuses” of our time. 

The script writing is especially notable as there is enormous pay off for moments set up earlier in the film. I would argue that if you are paying careful attention to its details you can solve the mystery right alongside the detective.

“Glass Onion” is now streaming on Netflix.