There’s no thriller to why Knives Out deserves a sequel. The sharp 2019 whodunit killed on the field workplace, offering an ideal motive for director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig to return for the sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. But even with Netflix money offering the chance, can they get away with homicide once more?
Fans of the primary movie shall be primed for a thriller with a twist, which suggests the sequel has to work more durable to shock — operating the danger of attempting too onerous, shedding audiences in complexity, or straining credulity. Happily, although, Johnson’s second stab is one other twist-filled deal with, having enjoyable with the whodunit style whereas additionally simply being very humorous.
Glass Onion streams on Netflix Dec. 23, however in a primary for the streaming service it’s going to additionally play in main US theater chains. Be fast: It’s on the massive display for one week solely at Thanksgiving, from Nov. 23 to Nov. 29.
Craig returns as louche detective Benoit Blanc, and this time he is journeying to Greece to research a brand new star-studded ensemble. Edward Norton performs an ultra-rich tech bro gathering his buds (and hangers-on), performed by Kate Hudson, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Madelyn Cline, Jessica Henwick and Dave Bautista with a gun in his Speedos.
Craig first performed suave sleuth Blanc in the course of the again stretch of his time as James Bond, whereas Knives Out was the palate-cleansing first movie for author/director Rian Johnson after his divisive Star Wars flick The Last Jedi. But now each are free and away from franchise baggage, and each appear to be glorying within the probability to play. Craig performs up Blanc’s comedic eccentricities, reveling in post-Bond flamboyance (have you ever seen his fabulous new vodka advert, by the way in which?).
Johnson, in the meantime, delights in layering the frilly plot. The invitation to the sun-dappled reunion comes within the type of a picket puzzle field, and the entire movie is constructed from puzzles inside puzzles. This multilayered building provides as much as a vastly satisfying homicide thriller. Among the suspects, Norton is fiendishly bland, Hudson is on nice kind as a loud-mouthed fashionista, and Bautista excels once more at revealing hidden depths enjoying a manosphere man-mountain. Monáe provides Craig a run for his cash as a personality who — no, I’ve mentioned an excessive amount of. You’ll must comply with the clues your self.
Layered into the whodunit is a blade-sharp satire skewering the wealthy folks who are sometimes the topic of those sorts of mysteries. On the floor, you’ll be able to take pleasure in vicarious enjoyment of the golden solar and golden pores and skin, the opulent setting and glamorous outfits — the primary movie’s muted colours and cozy sweaters appear positively dowdy subsequent to the dimensions and extra of the sequel. But as in different current movies savaging the life of the wealthy and shameless, like Triangle of Sadness, Bodies Bodies Bodies or The Menu, a part of the pleasure is understanding these fats cats are about to get their comeuppance.
At the identical time, Glass Onion nearly, almost, only a tiny bit verges on being kinda happy with itself. There’s an compulsory Alexa joke and a few humorous however uncomfortable-if-you-think-about-it COVID gags, and simply an general vibe that sails dangerously near the territory of the later Ocean’s 11 motion pictures, the place massive stars (and cameos) smirkingly swan a few high-priced trip and count on you to thank them for it.
But Glass Onion incisively invitations you to snicker (albeit bitterly) at these grotesque entrepreneurs and influencers. Where the primary movie took intention on the cloistered obliviousness of inherited wealth, the sequel turns its sights on the modern-day nouveau riche: determined social media experts, greedy politicians and deeply inconsiderate tech varieties. They’re the kind of people that excuse their self-centered blundering as “disruption” and mistake their success as a product of their very own mystical “genius” fairly than self-serving callousness backed by beneficiant helpings of different folks’s cash — and loads of sheer dumb luck. It’s enjoyable to see them disintegrate when the knives come out, however greater than that it is a scathing critique of people doing issues with no understanding of penalties and lumbering everybody else with the fallout. Johnson might be watching Elon Musk’s Twitter meltdown with nice amusement (blended, most likely, with abject despair).
The authentic Knives Out was an affectionate tribute to the traditional homicide thriller style, with a twist. That’s a troublesome trick to drag off twice: When you are watching a whodunit you already know roughly how it will be resolved, and now we’re primed to look at this movie for the twist.
The first Knives Out might have been a unusual curio, however struck a nerve with audiences and earned Johnson a 2020 Oscar nomination for finest authentic screenplay. While gently sending up the traditional whodunit, it impressed a minor revival within the style. (Yes, Murder on the Orient Express did comparable field workplace two years earlier, however do not inform me Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot would have been granted a franchise with out Knives Out’s success.) Netflix was actually impressed sufficient to throw reportedly enormous quantities of money at Johnson for extra Knives Out sequels. Which leads us to the one unsolved thriller popping out of Glass Onion: Can Rian Johnson and Benoit Blanc kill once more?
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