Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Rian Johnson, 2022, USA)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is Rian Johnson's latest effort, a sequel to his immensely successful 2019 whodunit Knives Out. This time Netflix is financing the whole thing, and apparently, there is another film in the works. The template for the Knives Out franchise is Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, with each film representing a standalone entry in the franchise. Our Poirot in this case is Daniel Craig as our eccentric New Orleans detective Benoit Blanc. Craig, who is known for his serious portrayal of James Bond, has a surprising level of comedic ability. While he was funny in the first Knives Out, he is even funnier in this entry in the series. No character in Glass Onion gets more one-liners - and delivers them with great comic timing - than Craig.

Glass Onion amps up the first film on several levels, and there are several spectacular set pieces in the film. COVID finds the pretense for the film's premise, where an eccentric billionaire Miles Bron - clearly modeled in some ways after Elon Musk - invites an old set of friends (his "disruptors") to his mansion on a Greek island. The appearance of Blanc and an estranged old business associate Cassandra Brand (Janelle Monae), leads us to believe there is something more going on here than meets the eye. While it would be somewhat useless to describe the plot, Johnson's script gives enough stakes to the mystery while also maintaining a winking eye. The characters on display are all targets of some satire, and while the satire is broadly drawn, the film never loses sight of maintaining its entertainment value. In many ways, Glass Onion is tighter and better written than the first film in the franchise, which bodes well for future efforts in the franchise. 


7/10

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