I enjoyed Knives Out but I can’t say that I was a huge fan. At least, not as big a fan as most people seemed to be. I suspect that it’s because I’m a big lover of Agata Christie, so I didn’t think Rian Johnson had done anything that revolutionary. I also didn’t think the plot was that remarkable but, again, when you’re used to the Queen of Crime, few people can live up to my expectations. What I did enjoy about the film was the characters. Particularly, Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. So, I was excited by the announcement of a sequel. Especially a standalone sequel that had nothing to do with the original. Could it be as good or even better than the first film? Even without Chris Evans in his sexy knitwear?
First thoughts, the costume department did an even better job on this film than the first. Everything Daniel Craig wears is phenomenal. I absolutely love what Rian Johnson has done with the character and the obvious influences from classic films and crime fiction. Let’s be honest, tweak his accent and he’s one moustache away from being called Hercule. We’re under no doubt that Benoit Blanc is a genius, which means watching him solve crimes is a wonderful thing. After all, he actually takes you through the process, which is something that can’t be said for many contemporary detectives.
I can’t say that the story is my absolute favourite. It’s pretty obvious who the killer is but it does everything it can to cover that up. There are plenty of red herrings and twists along the way. It uses a similar structure to the first film but it amps it up. We get a bunch of key information halfway that just flips the whole thing. It’s quite a shake-up. My only real issue with the plot is that I wish there were more hints along the way. There are a couple of things that do help bring things together. I just wish it ran a little deeper. But, I guess I’m just greedy. Compared with the first film, I think the narrative is stronger and has more intelligence than Knives Out but barely.
I also think the characters are a lot more fun. Aside from Chri Evans and Ana de Armas, the majority of the supporting characters in the first film are easily forgotten. Having fewer faces in this film enables us to get to know them better. They have more memorable personalities and get more time to make their presence known. It helps that the murder doesn’t happen until the film has already started. I definitely think this is a strength over the first film. There’s a reason that so few Agatha Christie novels start with a murder having already happened. It gives the reader a chance to get to know everyone.
It also helps that Glass Onion has plenty to say about modern society. The fact that the main character resembles Elon Musk makes it even stronger. The film has plenty to say about money and its influence. In a world where billionaires believe they can do whatever they want without consequences, Glass Onion doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it might have done a few years ago. Certainly not since Trump’s time in office. The character of Miles Bron seems fairly mild compared to his real-life counterparts.
All in all, Glass Onion is a really enjoyable film. In a world where people are bemoaning the number of comic book movies and reboots plaguing Hollywood, Rian Johnson is creating an original franchise that could run for years. It’s also the perfect antidote to Kenny B’s abysmal Agatha Christie remakes. Johnson’s films have a charm and humour that the most recent Poirot films have been sorely lacking. I may have a few tiny niggles but, really, this is a very entertaining film. I’m ready for more of this.