Glass: a Split in Quality

Glass is the final installment in M. Night Shyamalans Unbreakable trilogy.


Glass is the final installment in M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable trilogy.

Alexander Yagoda, Opinion Editor

Release Date: January 18, 2019

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: James McAvoy (Kevin Wendell Crumb [among others]), Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey Cooke), Bruce Willis (David Dunn), Sarah Paulson (Ellie Staple), Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah Price)

Our Rating: C-

If M. Night Shyamalan could be described in a single word, it would be “inconsistent.” Those who are not cultured in Shyamalan’s background lore and only know him for his outstanding hits like “Unbreakable” and “The Sixth Sense” (both fantastic movies by the way) might be a wee bit confused by this. How could someone so experienced in film-making be inconsistent, and why chose that word to describe him, of all things? The answer is simple, elegant and unexpected. It stems from a beloved children’s show from Nickelodeon and is likely one of the most commonly suppressed memories shared amongst 2000’s kids’ minds. The answer, unfortunately, is “Avatar: The Last Air Bender.” How could “Avatar,” an animated children’s show of great renown, be related to “Glass,” or M. Night Shyamalan? This is where the memory suppression takes effect.

One of Glass’s strong suits was its ability to control atmosphere and mood to a point.

“Both ‘Split’ and ‘Unbreakable’ were pretty good. I really liked ‘Split,’ but this new one really isn’t that great,” junior Daniella Berrospi said.

For those whose memories are still blocked, allow me to refresh them. M. Night Shyamalan directed “The Last Air Bender” (“TLAB”). Hold on a second, what happened to “Avatar”? Isn’t the show called “Avatar: The Last Airbender”? Yes, it is, but this isn’t the show. “TLAB” is the vomit-inducing, childhood ruining live-action adaptation to the beloved children’s show everyone knows and loves. On its own, the directing of one bad movie wouldn’t be enough to permanently mark a person as inconsistent, but “TLAB” is far from the last of Shyamalan’s bad movies. Next on the list is “Devil”, which might be one of the least suspenseful ultra-low budget “horror” movies ever created, being filmed entirely in an elevator and boasting a plot more transparent than a crystal wine glass. Tack on “After Earth,” Will Smith’s only bad movie, and you’ve got yourself quite a catalog of bad movies from Mr. Shyamalan. As it would seem, Shyamalan decided to take a hiatus from making good movies at the turn of the millennium, with his last good movie prior to “Split” and “Glass” being released in 2000, “Unbreakable,” the first in the “Split” and “Glass” trilogies. It should also be noted that Shyamalan was responsible for “Stuart Little,” the best live-action movie about adopting a rat as a child since “Flowers for Alegernon.”

“I think Glass was pretty good; James McAvoy did a great job,” sophomore Justin Vazquez said.

Pulling together all these inconsistencies, in genre, style and overall quality into a single movie might seem like a challenge, but for Shyamalan, it was an easy task. Certain parts of “Glass” seemed as if they belonged in a satirical version of a psychological thriller, and Sarah Paulson’s poor portrayal of an “I promise I’m not a secret agent of a secret society” character masked that she was a secret agent of a secret society. From the strange, plastic looking smirk and frown Paulson alternated to and from throughout the movie and how ridiculous the character is as a whole, I can’t in good conscience mark that as a spoiler. This is actually a deep cut reference to Shyamalan’s elevator chat movie “Devil” in which the only suspenseful or scary part of the movie (figuring out which of the people stuck in the elevator is the devil in disguise) can hardly be called suspenseful and certainly isn’t scary. Following in the same vein, “Glass” doesn’t just stop there with Paulson’s character, it continues with what she was trying to achieve, which was attempting to convince people that very clearly had superpowers that they actually don’t have superpowers.

Sarah Paulson gives what might easily be the worst performance of any movie villain ever.

Once this very obvious piece of information becomes clear, the movie simply falls apart as it otherwise lacks any kind of suspense. That being said, after the point in the movie in which that information was intended to be given to the audience and prior to the introduction of Paulson’s character, the movie is fantastic. With no excessive and forced drawn-out action scenes, no “unexpected” plot twists and best of all, no Sarah Paulson, the movie sets up and ends well enough to mostly make up for the horrendous remaining hour and a half of its runtime.

Overall, M. Night Shyamalan really cements his role as the world’s most inconsistent director, tossing out yet another underwhelming movie, though this time a remarkably poorly mixed bag of bad acting and iffy writing, constantly building up to something that never happens. Truly tragic, considering how great the first two installments of the trilogy were, but hey, what did you expect from the world’s most inconsistent director?