We got an unbelievable amount of fantastic movies in 2019; one of the most beloved was “Knives Out,” directed by Rian Johnson and featuring an ensemble cast including Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer.
Three years later, and after nearly half a billion dollars spent by Netflix, the sequel, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” has finally come to our very own Montclair Film Festival, two full months before its release to the general public on Netflix.
Let me first say that it was a ton of fun to watch this in a packed room of film lovers. I didn’t get to see the first one in theaters, so getting to see Craig’s southern-accented detective Benoit Blanc prance across the screen for two hours was absolutely delightful.
While perhaps “Glass Onion” does not reach the heights of its predecessor, it definitely has hilarious moments and is absolutely worth a watch.
Craig is joined by a celebrity cast including Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr., with surprise guest cameos by Ethan Hawke and Hugh Grant. The latter of whom got a decent applause (which I contributed to, don’t worry) when he showed up for one scene.
The film involves billionaire Miles Bron (Norton), who invites some of his close friends to his vacation island for a fun murder mystery puzzle game, with Benoit being mysteriously invited as well. What follows is a night of intrigue, mystery and plot twists that make you feel stupid for not seeing them coming (in a good way).
On top of being a hilarious whodunnit, “Glass Onion” also makes social commentary on the rich and powerful, as well as touching on the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of all things. Seeing Craig playing the game “Among Us” while going crazy during quarantine in May 2020 is something I never thought I’d ever see.
Johnson, who also directed the divisive 2017 film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” definitely shows off his directorial and screenwriting skills in this sequel. He plays with interesting camera angles and lighting. And can we talk about the costumes real quick? Monae has some beautiful dresses, and Craig has quite the comical swimsuit. The sets are also beautifully designed.
I’m not the only one that loved the film. The audience, a completely packed theater with a ticket line that went down the street and wrapped all the way around the block, was in stitches almost the full time. Reveling in every line delivery and losing their mind over jokes about topics such as sweatpants and the Mona Lisa.
Members of the audience shared their thoughts after the screening, including Alex Greaney, a junior film and television major.
“[The film] managed to surprise me in all the right ways,” Greaney said. “[Johnson] continues to prove himself as a brilliant filmmaker.”
Mike Foley, a senior television and digital media major, felt similarly.
“From what I saw of the latest murder mystery from [Johnson] gives me hope for the genre,” Foley said. “‘Glass Onion’ offers a great twist on the genre [of mystery].”
Freshman film and television major Sam Rappoport enjoyed the film because he related to the characters.
“I like the movie because [Craig’s] character is silly and goofy just like me,” Rappoport said.
I think we all can find something to root for in Craig’s manic energy, which can be seen in “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”. It comes to limited theaters on Nov. 23 and Netflix on Dec. 23.