Movie Review: “Glass Onion”


Credit: Hallie Luo

WSPN’s Hallie Luo and Tina Su discuss their thoughts on the newly released movie, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

Hallie Luo and Tina Su

Warning: This review contains spoilers

After three years of empty theaters because of COVID-19, director Rian Johnson presents us with the second movie of the “Knives Out” franchise, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” The movie gives viewers yet another impressive cast with actors Daniel Craig, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monae, Dave Bautista and other A-List celebrities. This movie has a lot to live up to, as the first “Knives Out” movie received over $312.9 million in the box office. With this lineup of a cast, our expectations were beyond high.

The movie starts with an introduction of the nine main characters: Detective Blanc (Daniel Craig), Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), Birdie (Kate Hudson), Miles Bron (Edward Norton), governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), Andi (Janelle Monáe), scientist Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.), Duke (Dave Bautista) and Peg (Jessica Henwick). When a nifty wooden box shows up at each of their front doors, inviting them to Bron’s billion dollar mansion on a private island, no one can refuse the offer to spend the weekend in so-called “paradise.”

Bron is a billionaire tech entrepreneur, who has used his money to develop his toxic savior complex. The characters, although connected through Bron, all branch from extremely different parts of society. For reference, Lionel is a scientist, Debella is running for senator and Birdie is an internet sensation. The group met as 20-something nobodies in a bar, called “The Glass Onion,” looking for success. The viewer quickly learns that the reason the group has stuck together over the years isn’t because they are actually close friends, but because every single person financially depends on Bron’s money to stay socially relevant, like a parasite attached to its host. Every one of their scandals can be virtually erased with Bron’s hefty wallet, and this ultimately makes sure that all the characters stay on his good side.

Bron has decided to make the trip more exciting with a “murder mystery night,” although this plan quickly fails as Detective Blanc is able to solve his meticulously crafted puzzle in just a few minutes. Everything is lighthearted until Duke dies after taking a sip from Bron’s glass. What used to be “paradise” is now the scene of death and panic as the group scrambles to find answers on the deserted island, surrounded by untrustworthy people.

Now, parts of this movie we really loved. Rian Johnson, the director, has some of the best comedic developments and subplots we’ve ever seen. The first “Knives Out” was hilarious, and this one didn’t disappoint either. Specifically, we found the character of Birdie extremely well-written, as it jabs at many celebrities today. There were also many modern-day references and add-ins, such as face masks and COVID-19 protocols, which felt weird seeing on the big screen.

What makes this movie stellar is the journey the audience goes through. We firmly believe that even a movie critic couldn’t predict what comes next. It’s easy to say, “I guessed the murderer right!” but the motive and background of the characters develop at a pace that by the time the movie was halfway over, our original hypothesis was humorously off. As each scene played through, another piece fit right into the puzzle of the entire story.

As far as movie sequels go, this one deserves praise. It kept the same satirical and building of humor that the first “Knives Out” had, except with a complete recast and setting change. Johnson did a magnificent job of making the movie different from the first, but he still kept the same feel of the fictional universe. Nevertheless, we still think nothing can top the first movie.

This is the best type of movie to watch with family and friends. Throughout the film, our suspicions switched from character to character, and there was not a single person on that island could be erased from the suspect list. These “whodunnit” movies are what we wish theaters had more of.

In March 2021, it was confirmed that there would be a third “Knives Out” movie to the series. We’re ecstatic to see what’s next, and we hope Johnson’s spectacular directing will jumpstart a trend of more mystery-comedy movies.

Rating: 8.5/10