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Glass Onion review: Knives Out sequel loses sharp edges

So many things worked together to create Whodunit 2019 by Rian Johnson Pull out the knife the hit. Like the magpie eye is Johnson’s favorite for a discarded genre, ripe for pick. Or the scene where Daniel Craig transforms into camp detective Benoit Blanc, daringly jumping at the gun at the end of James Bond’s tenure. And then there’s the perfect cast from top to bottom: Don Johnson is a sleazy, useless gold-digger husband, because of course he is!

But perhaps the most significant driving factor to the film’s success is the perfection of the Pinterest-ready mood board, which is reflected in the stellar production design, costumes, and film. Chunky fall coats and crisp tweed jackets; Jamie Lee Curtis was brilliant in fuchsia, a lock of white hair on her head; Chris Evans’ growling 1970s BMW and beloved cardigan; overcast skies and cool, low November light; a halo of knives as an ornament; A universe of creepy knick-knacks, all crammed into a rickety New England mansion, with a melancholy Old World vibe. (But as Rian Johnson’s script wickedly notes, bought from a Pakistani real estate mogul in the 1980s.) It’s a smart, funny movie that retains self-consciousness in a moderate distance and its style is very appropriate.

Consider the mood board for the Netflix-sponsored sequel, Glass onion: The mystery of cutlery, discover once again the worst wits and murders among the most privileged. This time, it’s a Porsche supercar spinning on a roof-mounted turntable; clear blue sky and sea under the bright Greek sun; personalized cocktails and chime smartphones; glass sculptures and ornaments adorning a fantasy-tech palace with a giant onion dome; large prints, spacious linens, scarves, sun hats and a pistol mounted on a machete.

Daniel Craig, wearing a blue and white striped bathing suit and yellow tie, squats next to a miniature Porsche crammed with yellow drink bottles, with Edward Norton in a baseball cap and Madelyn Cline in a bikini, in Glass. Onion

Photo: John Wilson/Netflix

All to say Onion is a brighter, louder, more extroverted movie than the first Pull out the knife. Its themes and fashions flirt with brazen, cartoonish silliness. This time, Johnson is aiming for big ideas and big laughs — it’s more of a comedic film, sometimes almost an outright comedy, and at other times a broad film. Where Pull out the knife targeted defensive pretense of inherited wealth, Onion Desperately mocking new money making, in a world of tech billionaires, influencers and flash politicians. As before, however, the elegant Benoit Blanc is here to dispel these illusions with humorous courtesy.

As before, Onion What starts out as a murder mystery seems like it might be missing an actual murder. The death of crime writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) in Pull out the knife investigated at different times as a suicide or an accident, and Johnson is happy to save the essence of the crime and the identity of the criminal until the very end.

Only acting this time. Miles Bron (Edward Norton), who has made an unimaginable fortune from an obscure tech background called Alpha, has invited a group of sly friends to his private Greek island for a reunion. annual. He calls them his “disruptors”: a tense libertarian politician (Kathryn Hahn), a science genius working for Bron (Leslie Odom Jr.), a feminist Twitch streamer. crass grandfather (Dave Bautista) and a free-spirited ex-model (Kate Hudson) with a fancy tracksuit line that’s been booming since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing everyone to work from home .

Edward Norton is in the foreground, looking flustered in a gray t-shirt on a Greek island beach, with the lavishly dressed cast lined up behind him including Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr, Kathryn Hahn and Dave Bautista

Image: Netflix

Everyone is surprised by the arrival of Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), who built Alpha with Miles, but is brutally removed from the company by him. Everyone seemed equally surprised when Benoit Blanc was invited to come along, including Blanc. But Bron has been planning a murder mystery party of which he will be the “victim”, so at least the world’s greatest detective fits the theme. Further revelations would interfere with the complicated clock of Johnson’s plans – but of course someone ended up dead for real, and someone interested in making sure there was a famous detective on the scene.

While Johnson is a worm admirer of Agatha ChristieTheir classic mystery, their construction game play skills are not enough for him. He felt the need to play the game with the whodunit game itself. What if the killer is not guilty of murder? What if the victim is not the target? Instead of lifting the curtain on his hypocrisy at the conclusion, as he did in Pull out the knifeIn Onion, he took a big gamble and quit halfway. At that point, he flips the script and rewinds the plot to play it all over again, with every event and many characters cast in a new light.

Structurally, it’s quite a magic trick. Some of the equipment he used to do it was pretty dated, but that choice seemed right for such a winking theatrical business, and the work was great: All the pieces fit together. . However, gambling has other consequences. Some characters are deepened and richer thanks to the change in perspective, but others are flattened. Crucially, genre conventions require Johnson to reveal himself at the end to match the surprise of the turning point he made midway through, but when he got there, it turned out that he has run out of options and the rewards don’t come as it should.

Janelle Monáe looks scared in a dark empty hallway with modern art on the walls.  In the background, only a faint silhouette can be seen

Photo: John Wilson/Netflix

By then, however, Johnson was less interested in unmasking the killer than in taking down the characters’ worlds in a flash. In Pull out the knife, made in an age of immigration-obsessed Trump, he nonetheless asked what country America was and chose a side with his stunning closing shot. In Onion, made amid the dissociation of COVID, he strikes left and right only on a series of easy targets: Big Tech’s utopian fantasies, the hypocrisy of liberal politics, stupidity of online image creation. It’s messy stuff, represented in a group of caricatures where he struggles to establish a natural kinship between them.

However, they still appeared on screen with the help of Jenny Eagan’s gorgeous costumes. Bautista tries to be both rude and childish as Duke, an insecure child-man trapped in the body of a cliff. Hudson is hilarious as Birdie, a charming goofy queen who has her tweets canceled so many times that her assistant won’t let her touch her phone. Norton, as an Elon Musk-like goof, exploits a deep line of passivity without diminishing his immense charisma – it’s nice to see him back at the heart of a Big, flashy Hollywood productions and a reminder of what a star he is. Monáe, in her most complex and multifaceted role, shines with sincerity, smoldering fury and a reality that others cannot touch.

This is also a movie where we can watch Daniel Craig play Between us in the tub with the late Angela Lansbury and Stephen Sondheim via Zoom. The film exploits Craig’s macho Bond image in some interesting and surprising ways, but both Craig and Johnson push the dashing detective, with his signature Southern drawl, in the direction of animation. more — away from Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot, and toward his parody. descendants, Pink Pantherby Inspector Clouseau. Unlike Peter Sellers’ goofy investigator, Benoit Blanc is no fool, but when he gets into the pool in a plaid two-piece bathing suit and tie, he looks a bit like a fun character.

Is it important? Not much. A great detective, like Peter Falk’s Columbo—whom Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne will soon pay homage to in their work. detective series Poker Face – no hidden depth required. They are the key to unlocking locks, opening doors, and illuminating our failures. We don’t need to know why they do it, but we do ask them to do it in style. Is flashy, fun, star-studded entertainment, Onion definitely do it.

Glass onion: The mystery of cutlery will premiere in limited quantities on November 23 and premiere on Netflix on December 23.



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