There are a lot of cookbooks on the market right now. But of course, none of them contain THE recipe for the perfect film. Luckily, Director Rian Johnson created it for us. So, you take a good portion of an exciting and confusing crime story. There could also be a little more of that. Add a well-balanced pinch of holiday feeling and sex appeal. The whole thing should be garnished with incredibly impressive pictures and story twists. After everything is stirred well and brought to temperature, pour in loads of the most important ingredient, humor. As the icing on the cake, the knives can be pulled out again to peel a delicious GLASS ONION.
IS GLASS ONION THE BEST PICTURE IN 2022?
Ok, it’s obvious that this introduction already consists of a huge portion of enthusiasm. Maybe that’s just because we’ve been let down recently by so many movies.
Anyway. Let’s try – objectively, of course, 😉 – to break down the question of whether GLASS ONION the best film of the year is. Thus, let’s start with the story.
THE STORY OF GLASS ONION AND THE CHARACTERS
Like every year, the super-rich snob Miles Bron invites his best friends over for a weekend together. This time it’s off to a luxury island in Greece. Here, as every year, the friends shouldn’t only relax. Besides, they can also take part in a live detective game. However, Miles doesn’t realize that the friends are lured to the island by very individual secrets and motivations. What the billionaire doesn’t suspect either is that a real detective is mingling with the group of illustrious guests. And, when someone turns up dead, everyone is a suspect.
THE DETECTIVE: BENOIT BLANC (DANIEL CRAIG)
In GLASS ONION, Benoit Blanc returns to peel back the layers in a new Rian Johnson whodunit.
It’s lockdown time. Blanc is bored to death until; finally; an exciting, criminalistic change knocks on his door. An invitation to a lavish private estate on a Greek island. But how and why he comes to be there is just the first of many puzzles.
It’s no secret that Daniel was tired of his role. Unfortunately, the franchise devours its stars regularly. Hence, it seems that the Brit frees himself from the shackles of James Bond. Instead, he immerses himself in roles that push the full range of his acting skills.
Not only since Logan Lucky or, of course, Knives Out, it should also be clear that Daniel Craig, a bit comparable to an onion, is an extremely complex exceptional talent with many artistic peels. He isn’t only shining in different genres. Moreover, he can even unite them.
What’s more, in GLASS ONION, he acts so freely, as if he had only been waiting for this role. He plays the detective with so much lust, warmth, and joy that we simply must love him.
From the first moment, he knows how to fascinate and amuse us with his mix of self-mockery and British charm.
Rarely have we laughed at Daniel Craig as we did in GLASS ONION. Every point is spot on. He also knows how to surprise us. Again, and again.
THE DIVA: BIRDIE JAY (KATE HUDSON)
Similarly, Kate Hudson thrives in her role as Birdie Jay. Birdie is still a nearly flawless former cover model. But she’s only almost perfect. Because the biggest mistake of today’s designer is that she talks faster than she thinks or sometimes completely ignores the latter.
So, Birdie trudges from one blunder to the next. Of course, the press is happy to present their faux pas to the public. It remains to be seen whether taking the smartphone away from her will help.
Birdie isn’t just one of the funniest characters in GLASS ONION. Like an onion, there are several layers behind her role that have to be peeled off to get to the core of the character.
In addition, Birdie even offers references to reality. Because, on the one hand, their naive and ludicrous statements and tweets are very reminiscent of an American president who, fortunately, has been out of office two years ago. On the other hand, it seems as if Rian Johnson is thoroughly teasing the make-believe world of the model and social media business with Birdie.
What is certain is that Kate Hudson is completely absorbed in her role. Without drifting into slapstick, she plays the over-the-top, seemingly superficial, and slightly goofy beauty with so much depth, heart, and fun that it’s a real joy to watch.
Also, it seems the actress and Rian Johnson hid a little tribute to Hudson’s mother, Goldie Hawn, in GLASS ONION. Because the pool scene, in which the 43-year-old appears more beautiful and sexy than ever, is very reminiscent of that in the film Overboard. Back in 1987, Goldie Hawn was the same age as her daughter Kate today. Then, she appeared poolside in a similar whiff of nothing like Kate in GLASS ONION.
THE ASSISTANT: PEG (JESSICA HENWICK)
Her loyal assistant Peg has her hands full cleaning up the mess Birdie keeps causing. She likes to resort to drastic measures. But their care is not out of sheer selflessness.
Jessica Henwick was originally set to play Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, all that remained was a brief appearance as an X-Wing pilot. With her appearance in the series Iron Fist, the beautiful English actress showed that not only can she easily put up with this defeat, but she can also assert herself physically as a modern woman. Here she shows off her actual martial arts skills perfectly.
Jessica also played in Games of Thrones, Matrix: Resurrection, Underwater, and The Gray Man. As a nerdy artist manager, she now shows us her humorous side in GLASS ONION.
THE PROLE: DUKE CODY (DAVE BAUTISTA)
Much like Birdie, fitness influencer Duke Cody isn’t the brightest of the stars. With his sayings, he not only brings tears to our eyes once. As strong as the giant is, he has two weaknesses: pineapple juice and his mom. The latter is embodied most ingeniously by Jackie Hoffman.
Of course, you know Dave Bautista as Drax from Guardians of the Galaxy. The former wrestler also starred alongside Daniel Craig in James Bond: Spectre. We also saw the American giant in Dune or Army of the Dead.
THE INFLUENCER: WHISKEY (MADELYN CLINE)
Duke’s sexy sidekick girlfriend Whiskey helps him expand his channel’s reach. Whether it’s for love or because she’d like to capitalize on the fitness influencer’s success, we’ll see. In fact, Whiskey is very good at using her beauty and physical charms to achieve her goals.
Despite her age, Madelyn Cline has been in the business for a long time. On the one hand, no question about her appearance, she is a successful model. On the other hand, series fans know her from her appearances in Outer Banks and Stranger Things. She also received an MTV Movie & TV Award nomination for Best Kiss. Hey guys, keep dreaming😉!
Howsoever, with the role of Whiskey, Madelyn Cline experiences her big breakthrough finally. Because she also shows facets and leaves us in the dark about her true motives until the end.
THE POLITICIAN: CLAIRE DEBELLA (KATHRYN HAHN)
Incumbent Connecticut Gov. Claire Debella wants to win the next election, of course. Amid the election campaign, however, she receives Miles Bron’s invitation to the lonely Greek island. Rian Johnson shows us in a very funny way why Claire is accepting this right now, at this time that is so important for her.
Since 2001, we saw Kathryn Hahn as Lily Lebowski in Crossing Jordan. The American actress also starred in Bad Moms and its sequel. Marvel fans know her best from the short series WandaVision. With GLASS ONION, the American actress frees herself from the certainly not unattractive world of series. Hopefully, she will appear more often in full-length feature films from now.
THE SCIENTIST: LIONEL TOUSSAINT (LESLIE ODOM JR.)
The cutting-edge scientist Lionel Toussaint works at one of Miles Bron’s scientific institutes. Here he made a breakthrough invention that could fundamentally change the world. That means it could stop climate change as well as all other problems. But as is so often the case when something sounds particularly beautiful, its invention and thus the entire Glass Onion has a decisive catch.
Leslie Odom Jr. made his Broadway debut and has garnered attention primarily through his performances in musicals. In films, we saw him in Hamilton and the remake of Murder on the Orient Express. He also starred in the 2019 biographical film Harriet alongside Janelle Monáe.
THE ENTREPRENEUR: ANDI (JANELLE MONÁE)
The former business partner Cassandra Brand, in short Andi, doesn’t like Miles at all. This is because the billionaire kicked her out of the company they actually built together. But why does she still accept his invitation to the island in the Glass Onion?
The breathtaking Janelle Monáe convinces as smart Andi across the board. She fills the screen with her presence and does not let her character look behind her facade until the end. Janelle was born for the stage and screen. In the meantime, she has taken home 48 awards. Most of them Janelle won as a singer and rapper.
However, at least since the films Moonlight and Hidden Figures, for which she also won many nominations and prizes, Hollywood has come to appreciate this versatile exceptional talent. Furthermore, Janelle starred in Bad Moms and Harriet alongside fellow GLASS ONION co-stars Kathryn Hahn and Leslie Odom Jr.
THE BILLIONAIRE: MILES BRON (EDWARD NORTON)
Last but not least, there is the illustrious host Miles Bron. He doesn’t really know what to do with all his money. Thus, why not buy an entire island to build a luxury building topped with a Glass Onion? Besides, why not host an exclusive detective game here to have a good time with your closest friends? In GLASS ONION, we have to find out whether his guests are really his true friends or whether Miles is just buying their friendship with all his money.
Edward Norton, as usual, plays great. In GLASS ONION, he’s not the cool, superior rascal. But as always, he plays a multi-layered and opaque character. It seems that Norton still loves to slip into quirky roles.
Above all, he likes to play characters who appear inconspicuous at first glance but are really clever under their surface. Even if we only focused on his greatest achievements, the list would be very long. So we limit ourselves here to the films in which he was probably the coolest. And that includes Fight Club, American History X, The Italian Job, Stone, and The Score.
THE MAKER: THE INCREDIBLE RIAN JOHNSON
Im Jahr 2005 schaffte es Rian Johnson die Kritiker und das Publikum mit seinem Film Brick zu überzeugen. In 2005, Rian Johnson won over critics and audiences alike with his film Brick. Then he entertained us with Brothers Bloom (2008), only to confuse us with Looper (2012) a little later.
Finally, Rian took us with Rouge One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and The Last Jedi (2017) in a Galaxy far, far away. All good films, even if Star Wars fans took strong criticism of the spin-off and the second part of the last trilogy.
Howsoever, it seems like Rian Johnson has used all of these productions to hone his skills as a great screen director. Because with Knives Out, he presented us with one of the most ingenious crime comedies of recent years. The interplay of characters and storylines, which Johnson has mastered in Knives Out, is incomparably brilliant.
Now, in GLASS ONION, he takes this impressive game to the extreme, leading us in one direction only to lure us down a completely different path a few moments later. If we think we can guess what’s going to happen, we’ll be taught otherwise.
Besides, it’s very nice to see that a big human heart beats in the body of that exceptional talent. Because Rian is not only a relaxed and fair director. Moreover, he’s also very loyal to his friends. One of them is Noah Segan. We’ve seen him in pretty much every Johnson. Noah also plays a role in GLASS ONION, albeit a little smaller this time. And so we come to the actual review.
THE GLASS ONION REVIEW
Agatha Christie was one of the most popular and influential crime writers ever. No question, she has fascinated generations with her works. So, her crime novels experienced a revival in the 1970s. In addition to those series that ran for years, three unique cinema masterpieces were released.
All three have lost none of their excitement and charm to this day. And all of them revolve around the adventures of the extremely likable, and sometimes somewhat bizarre master detective Hercules Poirot. Albert Finney played him in Murder on the Orient Express. Later, the unsurpassed Peter Ustinov embodied the Belgian detective with a fondness for delicious pastries in Death on the Nile (1978) and The Evil Under the Sun (1982).
Now Rian Johnson is following in the footsteps of Agatha Christie and Daniel Craig in Peter Ustinov’s. The Christie film adaptations not only shone with excitement but, above all, with their charm, humor, and the perfect interaction of the characters, all of whom were special yet authentic personalities.
And it’s precisely this perfection and authenticity that Rian Johnson brought to the screen with Knives Out. Now, he even goes one step further. In GLASS ONION, a group of characters with totally different interests and motives takes the place of the Thrombeys. A family who fought for its inheritance by any means necessary in the first part.
THE UNIQUE HUMOR
Of course, the thrill is at the top of the list in such a thriller. This is also the case with GLASS ONION. However, the tension is carried by unique, subtle humor in a special way. Rian Johnson presented it already in Knives Out. However, now it increases even further in GLASS ONION.
In doing so, he draws on current themes. So, the swipes at the social media and model scene are simply delicious and more than understandable for everyone.
The corona pandemic and one or the other well-known campaign of recent years are also being made fun of. The joke is never silly or exaggerated. Even the character of the completely overexcited Birdie is just funny and even profound and socially critical. At no time does GLASS ONION falter or lose sight of the actual goal: Who is the killer?
THE CAST OF GLASS ONION
Even if a film can convince completely, its complete cast rarely knows how to convince as well. However, as with Knives Out, Rian Johnson found the perfect cast. The interaction between the actors is nothing short of impressive, adding to the humor and thrill at the same time.
They all play at the highest level and offer Daniel Craig the perfect stage for one of his best performances. Also, one actress stands out among them all, Kate Hudson.
Whether it’s because of her experience, or simply that the role of Birdie was tailor-made for her, Kate plays the model whose prime is over with such great fun and energy that it’s a real joy to watch her in any second. In addition, Kate Hudson looks damn good and shows that laughter is the best beauty treatment.
After many big films were announced for this fall, which more than disappointed with a few exceptions, GLASS ONION is finally the cinematic highlight we have been eagerly waiting for.
It’s pure fun from the first second. I was very skeptical. Because Knives Out ranks among the top 5 of my personal favorites of modern movies. How can you top a film like this? And do you have to continue it at all? The answer is a resounding yes.
Rian Johnson shows that you don’t necessarily have to reinvent yourself, but stay true to your style to continue telling a good story just as coolly.
It’s clever that GLASS ONION doesn’t really build on Knives Out. What continues are the adventures of Benoit Blanc. From the very first few minutes, Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig allow us a glimpse into Blanc’s life, which isn’t always as distinctive as it seems when he’s trying to solve his cases. For example, we also learn how a master detective deals with the pandemic.
So we come back to the question if GLASS ONION is actually the best movie of the year. First off, it’s an outstanding crime comedy that keeps you entertained from start to finish.
However, the direction, imagery, tension, and, above all, the humor as well as the energetic and courageous interaction of the characters are so brilliant that we can answer the question with a very big yes. In our opinion, GLASS ONION IS the best movie of the year by far.
The film doesn’t need big stunts and CGI. Rian Johnson and everyone else show us a real film delicacy that impresses us with its indescribable charm. Moreover, the cast knows how to enchant us in a long term.
We, therefore, recommend that you go to the selected cinemas where the film is showing, wherever you have the opportunity. Otherwise, you still have the option to wait until December 23. Then GLASS ONION will be available exclusively on Netflix. We give this ingenious film a blatant 9.5 points.
Text: Marco Kokkot, Images: Netflix 2022. All Rights Reserved.