‘Glass’ shatters classic movie archetypes


Claire Meyer

Mr. Glass’s signature color is purple, representing intelligence and villainy. The other characters, David Dunn and The Hoard, are green and yellow respectively.

M. Night Shyamalan is famous for his plots twists and controversially constructed movies, and once again set fans into a frenzy on Jan. 18 with the release of “Glass.” The movie aims to tie two previous films together: “Unbreakable,” created in 2000, and the 2016 “Split.” “Glass” has major positives, as well as some pretty hefty flaws.

James McAvoy steals the spotlight as Henry Wendell Crumb, along with his 23 other personalities. Bruce Willis returns as reluctant hero David Dunn and Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, a.k.a Mr. Glass. The actors carry the movie, specifically McAvoy, who is acutely haunting in each personality he plays. He switches between silly, childish Hedwig to stoic, overprotective Dennis in mere seconds, making the weight of his disorder and role as “The Hoard” that much more apparent. Jackson and Willis had very few lines for much of the movie, which is one of the movie’s biggest faults. “Glass” became more of a “Split” sequel than a compilation of all three movies. However, the moments where they are on set, they play their characters just as they did in “Unbreakable,” relatably.

James McAvoy steals the spotlight as Henry Wendell Crumb, along with his 23 other personalities.”

— Claire Meyer, 11

Minor characters, like Casey Cooke played by Anya Taylor-Joy, Joseph Dunn by Spencer Treat Clark, and Elijah’s mother by Charlayne Woodard added immensely to the story just by being there, as many sequels lack some actors found in their predecessors. And as the viewers later discovered, they are hardly minor characters at all.

The tone of the film has been a point of debate. “Unbreakable” was a very artistic movie, with interesting camera angles and a slow, winding plot that leaves the viewer starstruck. “Split,” on the other hand, moved at a very frantic pace and is much scarier than the previous film. It was understandably going to be difficult to combine the two, especially considering the time gap between releases of the prequels. The previews for “Glass” showed all action, so anyone expecting a blockbuster was set up to be surprised because the movie ended up being a slower, neutral film.

Despite all of these imperfections, “Glass” was still an enjoyable movie. That is, until the viewer really considers the plot. For much of the movie, we are stuck in a facility as Sarah Paulson’s character Dr. Ellie Staple psychoanalyzes main characters. As the plot moves forward and coincidences occur, the audience is supposed to believe it is all part of Mr. Glass’s epic plan, which he had constructed in an unspecified amount of time. It’s just a little too weak to give a pass.

Despite all of these imperfections, ‘Glass’ was still an enjoyable movie.”

— Claire Meyer, 11

There is a saving grace for “Glass,” however. The unconventionality of the film is what makes it so good. Our society is in love with big action superhero movies, where the characters have a symbol on their chest and always get the girl. What makes “Glass,” and it’s predecessors, worth watching is the deconstruction of the superhero myth, or rather, making it a believable reality. The film overall is not very well constructed. As mentioned earlier, the plot has some severe shortcomings, but the ideas behind it are brilliant.

However, the most controversial part of the film is the ending. In order to properly review this movie, and why it is so different, the conclusion must be discussed, so if you haven’t seen “Glass” and are planning on it, stop reading now. Scroll  down if you’ve seen the movie or don’t mind major spoilers.








At the end of the film, the three main characters are killed off one by one, and they never reach their destination for the classic comic book “ultimate showdown.” As one would expect from Shyamalan, it’s entirely unexpected. However, it is one of the more positive aspects of the show. It further breaks down the superhero trope with which people become obsessed. Besides, many movie-goers are used to movies being wrapped up in a nice, neat package, so it’s pleasing to have a movie end a little differently. Like the rest of the plot, though, the ending is shaky.

The secret society that kills our characters, The Black Clover, has apparently been killing extraordinary humans for 10,000 years, according to an offhanded quote from Staple, who goes from bland physiatrist to member of a covert brotherhood very quickly. There is simply not enough explanation behind this organization to truly make the conclusion as heart-wrenching as it could have been.

My guess is Shyamalan wanted the execution of his characters to be just that, an operatic killing. ”

— Claire Meyer, 11

Also–although a small complaint–was our hero, who is gifted with super strength, who never gets sick, really killed in a puddle? Sure, David Dunn may have been “weak” as Joseph said, and water is his only weakness, but really? My guess is Shyamalan wanted the execution of his characters to be just that, an operatic killing. It just stings a bit. Besides, if Shyamalan is trying to show that heroes live among us, what is he saying when a secret society cuts them down?

Of course, as Mr. Glass said as he died, this is just an origin story. Thankfully, the movie ends on a hopeful note. The word is out that they exist, and with any luck, extraordinary humans will be respected and revered and the Eastrail 177 trilogy is wrapped up.

Ultimately, where the film lacked in logical plot, it made up in originality. If a moviegoer is willing to forgive Shyamalan for some plot holes and unconventional ideas, “Glass” is worth a watch. If nothing else, the film gives its audience something to think about.