[MOVIE REVIEW] Glass Onion dazzles with a preposterous cold-blooded murder
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was released for a week in theaters
December 5, 2022
I hustled to the 3:45 p.m. showing of Glass Onion at the AMC Rosedale theater straight from school on Tuesday, Nov. 29, driving in a snowstorm (my hazard lights did go off once or twice). After collecting the necessities—a small butter popcorn and a blue ICEE—I finally settled in my seat and waited for the movie to begin.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was released for a week in theaters for one week only, Nov. 23-29; I just managed to catch the last day it was available on the big screen. It will be rereleased on Netflix on Dec. 23. I remember watching the original Knives Out (2019) film when it first was available. It’s beautiful and complex, and any viewer will be entranced by the sets and the character’s duality. I was on the edge of my seat, trying to guess who the killer was. I imagined nothing could top this first movie, but the new sequel, Glass Onion, came close.
Glass Onion starts with four ex-co-workers receiving a unique puzzle box that must be solved. Within the box is an invitation from Miles Bron (Ethan Hawke), an infamous billionaire they all worked with previously at a start-up tech company, Alpha, founded by Bron and Angie Brand (Janelle Monroe) years before. The invitation is a yearly tradition, and the friends are delighted to see it because they know what is coming. The cast of Glass Onion is entirely different from the cast of Knives Out except for Detective Beniot Blanc (Daniel Craig), a returning character central to each plot.
His powers of observation and manipulation only match Blanc’s wit and charm. It would be worth seeing the film to see him in action.”
— Ivy Raya
Various characters include Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), an eccentric blonde who is the life of the party and seems to miss critical intellectual ideas, along with her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick). Pegonly wants what is best for Birdie because she believes what is beneficial for Birdie is good for her. Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.) also works for Alpha and wants Bron to succeed at all costs. Duke Cody (David Bautista), whom Bron got started as a Twitch influencer. Cody chooses to promote sexism and the mistreatment of women on Twitch, which somehow makes him a success, and he is joined on the island by his girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline). The last character introduced is Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), a political figure running for reelection who hopes Bron will fund her. Angie Brand is the founder of Alpha and brought all these people together. However, something mysterious happened to this group almost a year ago, and the notable tension between Brand and the other characters adds to the mystery. All the characters except Brand seem to be self-centered and elitist: they prioritize money above anything else. Each character represents a different response to money manipulation and shows how each values their economic status over moral values.
His powers of observation and manipulation only match Blanc’s wit and charm. It would be worth seeing the film to see him in action. The way he delivers claims depends on what the situation calls for. He can be blunt as to provide fake security or make points in a roundabout way with just enough information revealed each time to stall for time. He is called to the island for unknown reasons, and after finding out the invitation was faked, Bron invites him to stay. The day continues with drinks, swimming, sunbathing, and thinly veiled threats between Angie and the rest of her old crew. At the same time, Blanc observes from a distance that Angie snaps at her crew, calling them out for letting Bron finance their bank accounts and careers and admitting it is the only thing they have in common.
And so starts the murder mystery. Bron has decided to make others solve his fake murder; Detective Blanc solves it immediately. Embarrassed with himself, Bron calls Blanc to the side. Blanc tells him that he solved the murder quickly for a reason, warns Bron of the danger, and tells of the foolishness to surround himself with people who would have the motive to murder him, all isolated on an island, and then pretend to be murdered. Bron dismisses him, and they return to the party. After returning to the party, Bron can see they are all dismayed and ready to leave after the murder has been solved so quickly. He quickly forces them to cheer up by playing music, getting them to dance, and making drinks for everyone. However, the fun spirit is again broken when Duke Cody drops to the ground dead; it appears that he has been poisoned in a glass with Bron’s name on it. Bron now becomes paranoid after he recalls that Cody had accidentally picked up his glass, so the poison was meant for him. Every other character was in hysteria, and Detective Blanc attempted to calm everyone down and send someone to call the police to get to the island to take them to the mainland. The police respond that they cannot reach them since the tide is low and they will have to wait until six a.m. Blanc then advises everyone to stay where they are when the lights go out.
The movie climaxes when Angie Brand, the person who had the most motive to attempt to kill Bron due to being cut out of the company, is shot in the chest and falls over dead. Detective Blanc finds her and ushers everyone back inside. At this point, I was enraptured watching with my popcorn, long forgotten, trying to predict who the killer was. I was angry at Brand for making a fool of herself and relying on Blanc at the scene since it got her killed and waiting in anticipation of when it would all start to make sense.
The movie then went into a flashback. Angie Brand committed suicide four days before they went on that cruise, and her twin sister, who was cleaning her house that day, received the invitation instead. Helen Brand went to Detective Blanc’s house and pleaded with him to find out who murdered her sister because she had just discovered something and sent an email threatening the rest of the group with her findings and was killed a day later. Helen represents the other group that would not fit into the elites. She feels like she will not fit in, but when taking up the role of her sister then, she blends in seamlessly.
Brand was removed from the Alpha company after being unwilling to continue with the unethical decisions Bron was making. Angie Brand was the one who originally came up with the idea, but the others banded against her and faked their testimonies to be in Bron’s favor. Miles Bron got rich and took all the credit, while Angie Brand got stiffed out of her money, ideas, and all her friends betrayed her. Detective Blanc and Helen decided to go to the island to figure out who Angie Brand’s murderer was. Blanc distracts the rest of the crew while Helen makes her exit and spies on the others. She uncovers that Bron talked each of the characters into taking the fall for him or supporting something publicly that had dangerous side effects. Helen discovers that Whiskey (Cody’s girlfriend) is sleeping with Bron. Birdie Jay is jealous of Whiskey since she used to be Bron’s favorite and used sweatshops for her loungewear brand. The problems between elite people seem minuscule in comparison to the moral values they violated and the murders that were committed.
The movie concludes with Helen Brand finding the original napkin with Angie’s handwriting to prove her innocence and figure out that Miles Bron was the one who went to her house and murdered her. Bron acts quickly and burns the napkin leaving no physical proof, so Helen destroys his luxury house by burning it. The movie concludes with Detective Blanc and Helen Brand sharing a cigarette while watching the police boats hurry toward their island. The movie was captivating, and I would never have guessed the ending. Despite what I have described in this article, there is still much more I have left out that can only be brought to life by watching the movie; one might have to watch it multiple times to catch everything they have done.
Overall I would rate this movie ★★★★★.