A major topic of discussion in Glass is the conventions and clichés of the typical superhero story, mostly said by the title character himself (Samuel L Jackson). Well, one thing about a lot of superhero franchises is that while it’s not uncommon that the second movie in the series is as good or better than the first (Batman Returns, The Dark Knight, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II, Deadpool 2) , the third, and sometimes fourth, films are when it all starts to get creaky (The Dark Knight Rises, Superman III and IV, and of course, the Schumacher Batman flicks). Glass, the third entry in a trilogy preceded by Unbreakable and Split, is no exception.
Don’t get me wrong, Glass isn’t really a bad film. In this age where you can’t throw a stone without hitting a big, loud comic book flick, a more low-key superhero movie is welcome. However, like its more light-hearted cousins, Glass suffers from the Law of Diminishing Returns. James McAvoy returns as “The Horde” from Split, and while he does get some good lines, he isn’t as creepy or memorable as he was in his previous film. When he collaborates with Mr. Glass, the latter does bring up the “villain team-up” comic cliché, but that doesn’t stop the alliance from reminding one of the villain team-ups from the aforementioned Schumacher Batmans, more than the film would have liked.
In fact, “good, but not as good as it could have been” is a good way to describe this movie. You’ll be entertained by it, but there’s still the sense there’s something missing. The movie does have an appropriate setting for these characters to unite (a place called “Ravenhill” is sure to have shades of Arkham) but it doesn’t really feel enough is done with it. There is, of course, a twist, but it’s one you’ll probably guess. That said, there is still good in this movie, with Willis, McAvoy and Jackson pulling in good performances and some effective scenes. It’s not Shyamalan’s best but it’s far, far from his worst.