It’s crazy to think that revisiting Unbreakable has revitalized M. Night Shyamalan’s career. After a number of disastrous flops during summer blockbuster, culminating with After Earth managing to tarnish Will Smith’s previously invincible box office drawing power, Shyamalan would return to his roots in the horror genre with The Visit and then go all in on two films that wound up saving his career: Split and Glass.
Glass is the culmination of Shyamalan’s interesting take on the nature of superheroes and villains. This time around Kevin (James McAvoy), Glass (Samuel L Jackson) and David (Bruce Willis) are in a mental institution. Glass wants to unleash Kevin’s alter ego the beast onto the world. It’s up to a doctor (Sarah Paulson) trying to convince them that they’re all normal people. Shenanigans ensue, of course, as they aren’t.
What makes the film, and the trilogy that it somehow managed to line up, is that it takes a grounded approach to the idea of superpowered people. Much like Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Shyamalan’s trilogy is grounded but without the intellectual property of the DC universe. We’re set in a universe where comic book heroes are just that; heroes in ink.
Shyamalan posits what could happen in that world and it’s an interesting proposition. How would someone who’s practically unbreakable, with superhuman levels of strength, be able to handle that in this world?
The questions he asks are very provocative but the film itself is pretty lackluster. The ending, where we get a definitive conclusion to a trilogy set up over 20 years, reveals a much more intriguing film I wish he’d have made instead. That world, with Paulson in the lead, is the more fascinating one than this.
There are a ton of extras on this that explore a lot of what Shyamalan was working on.
Universal presents Glass. Written and Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Sarah Paulson. Run Time: 129 minutes Rated PG-13. Released on DVD: 4.16.19
Tags: Glass, M. Night Shyamalan, Split, Unbreakable