Glass

2019. PG-13. Directed by M. Knight Shyamalan. 2 hr 9 mins.

The time-honored screenwriting axiom to “show, don’t tell” gets stomped all over by writer/director M. Knight Shyamalan – he tells. A lot. This is a filmmaker who should be pouring it all into this movie like someone aware he’s on borrowed time after a string of insulting flops and got very lucky when his pair up with a very game James McAvoy made “Split” his most entertaining movie in over a decade and sparked another shot at audience acceptance. Instead of harnessing that Hail Mary final “Split” teaser to deliver a raucous finale in this improvised trilogy for 2 good films and 3 interesting characters, he spins his wheels for 2 hours, dumping an endless series of expository monologues on us by characters looking into the camera and spelling out every thing they’re doing, thinking and planning, in a way that approaches condescension. The return visit to the life of David Dunn (Bruce Willis) and a clever bit of needed unraveling to “Splits” more fantastical elements are the best parts of a movie that looks fine, but moves like molasses, is full of bizarre plot holes, twists that swing wildly from being telegraphed a mile away to coming completely out of nowhere, claustrophobic budgetary constraints, actors who don’t seem to want to be there and Shyamalan himself turning his pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe comic book fandom (remember, they’re historical records) into a stagnate, ugly and surprisingly mean-spirited critique on the genre. Ultimately, “Glass” has less to say about the current state of comic book movie tropes than it thinks it does, instead turning on the very audience who wanted to see more of these characters and punishing them.

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