When the game ends, the mystery begins.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is a 2022 mystery comedy film directed by Rian Johnson, written by Rian Johnson, produced by T-Street, and distributed by Netflix. It stars Daniel Craig and Janelle Monáe. This is the second film in the Knives Out franchise. It was preceded by Knives Out and will be followed by Knives Out 3.
"Lock the doors. Stay in your rooms. Everyone is in danger." - Benoit Blanc
After being invited to billionaire Miles Bron's private island for a weekend, expert sleuth Benoit Blanc joins a group of rich aristocrats in a murder mystery game...until someone turns up dead, and the mystery is no longer a game.
Glass Onion is just as good (if not better) than Knives Out.
The reason Knives Out was fantastic was Rian Johnson's incredibly clever screenplay. Glass Onion's screenplay rivals Knives Out with its wit, charm, and intelligent storytelling. Not only does the film have the smarts, but it also incorporates real life issues into the story seamlessly. It takes tons of twists and turns, arguably more than Knives Out, giving the audience an unpredictable and funny murder mystery that slowly reveals all of its secrets. The payoffs here are fantastic. There are so many little things setup throughout the film that come back in the final reveal and make you go "Oh!". It's awesome.
Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot can move over. There's a new iconic detective, and his name is Benoit Blanc. Daniel Craig's hilarious main character was a highlight of Knives Out and he continues to steal every scene in Glass Onion. From his accent to his small, funny quirks, Blanc is an incredible protagonist that acts as a cherry on top for both Knives Out and Glass Onion. We are getting more Knives Out movies, and I will always be game, because Benoit Blanc is a fantastic, fun character to be around.
Glass Onion actually has the same budget as Knives Out, but it feels like it goes bigger and has more money. The production design is impeccable. It's fantastic. It takes place in a bigger location. The story is higher stakes and more significant than the first film. I'm not always a fan of when sequels go bigger just for the sake of going bigger, but Glass Onion uses its expanded scope and scale very, very well.
And, just like Knives Out, Glass Onion has an absolutely insane cast. From Edward Norton to Janelle Monáe to Dave Bautista to Kathryn Hahn...there are so many great actors in this film. They got a big name to fill every role, and they also have a few fun celebrity cameos sprinkled throughout the film. The main cast is really the notable aspect here, though, because a great cast just adds to an already great movie.
The cast is put to good use, because every member plays a notable, memorable character. More so than the first Knives Out, these characters were all quirky and all had things about them that just stuck out and made them fun. It's an extremely well-balanced ensemble group of people that all have different motivations, secrets, and little nuances that make them interesting. Combine that with the fantastic cast and you've got a truly great set of characters in this film.
Rian Johnson gets a ton of crap for The Last Jedi, but this guy comes back and proves time and time again that he is an incredible director. People need to stop with the toxic Star Wars fandom stuff and actually check out Johnson's filmography, because he's made fantastic movies and continues to do so. His direction and crackling dialogue in this film elevate it to that next level that the original Knives Out was on. He's creative and mysterious with the camera while also just crafting likable characters and witty dialogue to round out his hard work on this movie.
Speaking of the dialogue, Glass Onion is just as funny as the first film. It manages to find moments where organic humor comes in. There's not these big setup jokes that the MCU has. It's just these smart, little jokes that make you laugh out loud. Benoit Blanc is a funny character because of the way he talks, and some of the things he says in this film are just hilarious. Once again, it just makes this movie so, so entertaining.
One thing that is not as satisfying and tight as Knives Out is the way everything wraps up. I thought that the killer reveal was cool and the explanation behind it was great, but then they have to go a little bit further to wrap the story up, and that's where it falters a little bit. The way that everything ends is a little bit...weird. It feels out of place with the rest of Knives Out, because it's big and flashy, and that's not what either of these films have been. I don't hate the way they ended it. But I do think it could've been better.
And, while I do really like the cast of characters that we have here and how memorable they are, I don't really find any of them likable. Now, that was the case in the first Knives Out, too. The entire Thrombey family was insufferable. The characters in Glass Onion are also insufferable. The difference is, at the end of Knives Out, the Thrombey family got what they deserved. They were kicked out of Harlan's inheritance and left with nothing. The characters in Glass Onion don't get any punishment for all of the horrible things they say and do. And that's frustrating, because all of them are awful people that deserve to have something happen to them and not just carry on with their lives.
Finally, Glass Onion cheats a little bit. Much like Knives Out, the story is told in a non-linear fashion. For the first forty-five minutes, we see the film play out, then a key piece of information is revealed, and we see everything we've already seen from a different perspective. However, when we go back and see these key moments, some of them are different. Little lines of dialogue or movements that characters make are changed to fit the story and maintain the tightness of the mystery, and that was frustrating. Not a huge deal, but it shows that Glass Onion maybe isn't as compact and well-written as Knives Out.
Final Thoughts and Score
Glass Onion is a very worthy follow-up to Knives Out that has all of the mystery and comedy that you loved while also having a bigger story and better characters. Despite a few minor problems, this movie is just as good as its predecessor.
I will go Sweet here. Age range is 9+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)
"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery"
Fun Factor: 9.5/10
Directed by Rian Johnson
Rated PG-13 for language, suggestive material, minor violence, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements
Released on November 23, 2022 (limited theatrical release)
Released on December 23, 2022 (Netflix)
2 hours and 19 minutes
Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc
Janelle Monáe as Andi Brand
Edward Norton as Miles Bron
Kathryn Hahn as Claire Debella
Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel Toussaint
Kate Hudson as Birdie Jay
Dave Bautista as Duke Cody
Madelyn Cline as Whiskey
Jessica Henwick as Peg
Noah Segan as Derol
Jackie Hoffman as Mrs. Cody
Dallas Roberts as Devon Debella