Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (referred to more simply as Glass Onion) is a 2022 American mystery film written and directed by Rian Johnson.
It is a somewhat sequel to the 2019 whodunnit mystery Knives Out albeit it’s a standalone movie; new story and cast with the connecting thread being that the renowned detective Benoit Blanc (played by Daniel Craig) once again stars in this mystery film.
Rian Johnson describes the casting of Glass Onion as throwing “a dinner party with friends” and boasts of quite the stellar casts which includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Leslie Odom Jr. and Madelyn Cline and cameo appearances by some interesting A-Listers.
In the tradition of its predecessor, Glass Onion is a mystery flick in the style of a whodunnit “vacation mystery”. An eccentric billionaire invites several rich friends to his private island for a murder mystery party game where it’s all fun and games until… **redacted for spoilers **
True to its metaphoric title, Glass Onion is layered; it doubles back on its self and then you peel back the layers to reveal that everything has always been in plain sight, which also makes it all the more surprising and unexpectedly
It's a dangerous thing to mistake speaking without thought for speaking the truth
Gotta love Daniel Craig’s character Detective Benoit Blanc, with the movie written and set during peak pandemic era it gave a peek into how people coped or failed to cope, being shut away and of course how the detective might be brilliant at some things yet struggles with what should be easy enough for others.
Janelle Monáe’s performance is the heart of Glass Onion, not as metaphor but literal (my layered comment only makes sense after you have watched the movie and this is a spoiler free review)
I have always been a fan of Edward Norton after watching Fight Club which to date still remains one of my most epic movies— In Glass Onion, Edward Norton plays the eccentric billionaire Miles Bron and yes I noticed the portrait that was definitely a callback to Fight Club’s Tyler Durden hanging in Miles’ home.
Miles Bron also gives some rather Elon Musk vibes although Rian Johnson insists that Glass Onion is not about Elon Musk despite people still making the connection anyway.
Compared to the first movie, this time they went, longer, flashier and plot twistier – but this alone does not make a movie better—for example as the movie layers back on itself some of aspects of it feel repetitive, especially when you watch the movie for a second time — News Flash: you cant just watch this movie once, you need a second run if you really want to confirm that everything has been in plain sight, FYI it really has.
There some characters who have a dazzling brilliance which however never quite got the spotlight front stage for example Duke’s mom, I really wanted to see more of her, then there’sPeg who is always in the background fire fighting… and hold up did I just see Hugh Grant in a pink apron?
Lastly Madelyn Cline’s character Whiskey, I wish she had been a bit more pro-active than simply as another upcoming social media influencer doing anything for a shot at setting up her brand. She is introduced as Duke’s arm candy but later we learn that she has does have some sense to her, now if only they had given that aspect of her a bit more development.
Truth is always ugly, if the Glass Onion is a metaphor for anything:
'I keep returning, in my mind, to the Glass Onion. Something that seems densely layered, mysterious and inscrutable. But in fact, the center is in plain sight.'
The Glass Onion gives us a reflection of how we are easily fooled even when the truth is facing us.. and how people tend to be sycophants to the rich and their whims. An exposé of the natural instinct to mistake wealth for wisdom and competency.
Fun Fact: the song that plays during the end credits is called Glass Onion a 1968 song by the Beatles. The song is known for its enigmatic lyrics, which reference other Beatles songs and contain various clues and hidden meanings. Ironically, John Lennon wrote the song to confuse people who read too deeply into the lyrical meanings of Beatles songs and at its core the mysteriously layered song has no ultimate or deep meaning.
Glass Onion currently tops Netflix Top Ten most viewed movies. Netflix holds the film rights to at least one more film in the series and Rian Johnson is said to working on writing the third Knives Out movie.
Have you watched Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery?