Review: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig reunite to bring us more of investigator Benoit Blanc and his grand mysteries

George Lowes
31st October 2022
Image Credit: IMDb
Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend a preview screening of Rian Johnson’s latest film, Glass Onion. Before the movie started, we were shown red carpet interviews with the cast. During the interview with Daniel Craig (Casino Royale & The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), he mentioned that he would love to work with Rian Johnson forever… and god, I hope he does!

Featuring an equally brilliant ensemble cast; a marvellous plot that’s just as cleverly constructed; and some of the biggest laughs I’ve gotten from a movie all year - Glass Onion is a more than worthy sequel to Knives Out (2019).

Some critics have labelled the first movie as a “deconstruction” of the whodunnit, however, that’s not entirely accurate. A more appropriate label would be “a love letter to the genre”. Rian Johnson’s admiration of the murder mystery is very evident in both films, which is why they work so well. Benoit Blanc is an obvious homage to classic literary sleuths like Sherlock Holmes and Poirot, but he never veers into parody territory, a mistake a lesser filmmaker might have made. Daniel Craig plays the part brilliantly, and it’s clear that he loves this role and being in these films, which just makes the character even more of a blast to watch due to his infectious energy.

Rian Johnson's admiration of the murder mystery is very evident in both films

Like Knives Out, Glass Onion features a fantastic cast of wonderful actors. From Edward Norton (Fight Club) as eccentric billionaire, Miles Bron, whose private island is the film’s primary setting, to Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) as the douchebag influencer, Duke Cody. However, I think my favourite member of Glass Onion’s ensemble was Jessica Henwick’s (The Matrix Resurrections) Peg. Peg is the assistant to Birdie Jay, played by Kate Hudson (Almost Famous), and the pair have great chemistry. There were also some unexpected cameos in the film, which were a fun surprise, though I won’t mention names - this is a spoiler-free review!

Glass Onion’s central mystery was very well constructed. I liked the film’s use of flashbacks to recontextualise earlier scenes, and I found the film’s climax, where all is revealed, to be highly satisfying - one of the most crucial parts of a whodunnit. I won’t go into any more detail on the plot - again, I do not wish to spoil the movie. I’d also like to praise Glass Onion’s costumes and production design. You learn a lot about these characters through what they wear and how the locations were designed; it’s clear a lot of thought went into this.

Though it still has themes of critiquing the rich, Glass Onion differentiates itself from its predecessor by focusing on another kind of money. The first film was about a wealthy family with a vast countryside mansion - old money. This sequel features social media influencers and tech billionaires with massive private islands - new money. This change helps to make the movie feel fresh, both thematically and aesthetically.

While not as great as Knives Out, Glass Onion is still a very enjoyable sequel, and I’m sure fans of the first movie will be more than happy with it. I can’t wait for the next one, and I hope Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig never get tired of this series. 4.5/5

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