Following premiere screenings in Paris and London, the embargo on reviews for Glass, director M Night Shyamalan’s latest film, was lifted. The reactions haven’t been kind. Several critics pointed out that the film, the third in Shyamalan’s decades-in-the-making trilogy that began in 2000, was an unsatisfactory conclusion.

The film sits at a ‘rotten’ 39% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 28 reviews. The critics’ consensus reads, “Glass displays a few glimmers of M. Night Shyamalan at his twisty world-building best, but ultimately disappoints as the conclusion to the writer-director’s long-gestating trilogy.”

Writing for IndieWire, critic David Ehrlich noted, “For all of the endless blather about how comic books have the power to reveal all of our secret identities – one of Jackson’s pronouncements about the power of narrative tropes veers close to making Glass feel like the Life Itself of superhero movies.”

Slate’s Sam Adams wrote, “On a purely practical level, Glass is drawn-out and disjointed, with disparate plot threads (some of them leading to, yes, a perfunctory rug pull) that seem dictated more by its stars’ availability than narrative cohesion.”

Meanwhile, Forbes’ Scott Mendelsohn agreed: “Maybe The Visit was a fluke, and the M Night Shyamalan who made Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs is really gone for good.”

In one of the few positive reviews, Empire Magazine’s Nick de Semlyen wrote that Glass is “Essentially a Split sequel with an Unbreakable topping, this is weaker than either of those films but still has a decent amount of entertaining and creepy sequences, most of them due to McAvoy’s high-commitment performance.”

Actors Bruce Willis, from left, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Glass, in London. (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

Glass brings together characters from the filmmaker’s Unbreakable and 2016’s Split, concluding his offbeat superhero trilogy. The film stars Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson and James McAvoy, who play David Dunn, Mr Glass and the Beast, respectively.

Glass arrives during a much needed upswing in Shyamalan’s career. The filmmaker burst onto the scene with the Oscar-nominated The Sixth Sense and followed it up with several box office hits. A troubling creative period began with his 2004 film, The Village, which Shyamalan followed up with a series of critical and commercial failures. Split was seen as a return to form, garnering his best reviews in years and going on to gross almost $300 million against a $9 million budget.

Glass is still one of the most anticipated films of the month, with early estimates suggesting a mammoth box office opening. Glass releases in India on January 18.

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First Published: Jan 10, 2019 10:48 IST


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