The highly anticipated sequel to “Knives Out” is here, with great acting, comedic strokes, and an engaging and compelling plot.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” directed by Rian Johnson, follows Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he observes a ridiculous murder mystery party thrown by a tech billionaire for his closest friends. Not long after their arrival, it becomes obvious that something suspicious is afoot, and it isn’t clear who you can trust. Detective Blanc must unravel all the clues before it’s too late.
As is the case with the first film, “Knives Out,” there are unpredictable and greatly enjoyable twists and turns, all carried out by an impeccable supporting cast. Kathryn Hahn is funny as an image-conscious politician, Leslie Odom Jr. is terse as the scientist who works for the tech company, and Kate Hudson is hilarious as the air-headed former model who often puts her foot in her mouth to her assistant’s (played by Jessica Henwick) great chagrin.
Dave Bautista plays tough alpha-male streamer convincingly, and Madelyn Cline does well as his arm candy girlfriend. Janelle Monae is captivating as the mysterious friend who harbors a grudge against the rest of the group, and Edward Norton brings it all together as the obnoxious billionaire. The opening scenes that introduce each character are cleverly written and acted.
The film seems to be a not-subtle parody of billionaires like Elon Musk, providing social commentary on the ultra-rich and their whims. The set design was appropriately outlandish, with an impressive large class building referenced in the title (a Glass Onion), and pointed set design to make further fun– Edward Norton’s character even has a mural of Kanye West in his living room.
Though it is on the nose, it is sufficiently witty and funny. The costume design was subtle but effective, giving insight to each character. Kate Hudson’s costumes in particular were pretty and served to highlight her character traits.
The plot possessed a strong narrative, and the mystery aspect was exciting and fun to watch play out. Rian Johnson’s specialty seems to be a fresh reimagined murder mystery, and as soon as “Glass Onion” was wrapped up, it seemed like the third instalment couldn’t come quickly enough.
The first film had a certain satisfying feel, which this one lacks a bit in comparison, but overall it was bigger and goofier, which did not make it better or worse, it just set it apart. It is a solid sequel, and can be watched as a companion with the first film, or as its own movie altogether. Daniel Craig is simply charming and lovable yet again as Detective Blanc, and is the highlight of the film.
“Glass Onion” will be available on Netflix starting December 23rd.