Dog’s Movie House: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” Just As Good As The First Film!
“Glass Onion” features Edward Norton as Miles Bron, an eccentric (think Elon Musk parody and you’d be on the right track) tech billionaire who invites a group of his closest friends to his private island, The Glass Onion, for their annual murder mystery party. They include, in no particular order, Claire Debella, a forward thinking politician played by Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr.’s Lionel Toussaint, Bron’s overworked right hand man, Kate Hudson’s Birdie Jay, a ditzy fashonista who has a tendency to run her mouth, and Dave Bautista’s Duke Cody, an alpha-male podcaster who’s riding the coatails of Bron’s name to make millions online. Also joining the party are assistants Peg (Jessica Henwick) and Whiskey (Madelyn Cline) along with a wild card in Andi Brand (Janelle Monae), a former partner of Bron’s who was iced out of her invention and fortune by Bron in court. The plot thickens!
Benoit also receives an invitation but is an unknown factor because he is the only stranger there. Although he ingriates himself with his host and the other guests, he’s an outsider until the murder mystery party suddenly turns real and that’s when the fun begins. To tell you any more would be depriving you of the joy of figuring out all the twists and turns of “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” and it’s something you really should experience for yourself!
Director Rian Johnson (working from his tight script) gives his actors a lot of meaty, funny dialogue. The patter reminds me of a more profane version of the comedies of the thirties by directors such as Ernest Lubitsch. There is a delightful amount of humor involved in making fun of many of these vapid, delusional characters who think name dropping and trendy but empty opinions mark them as intelligent and relevant. For those of us who still appreciate straight talk and straightfoward opinions, this film is a laugh riot.
The cast is excellent and game for just about anything. Craig’s Blanc is, in many ways, better than his Bond because it’s an original creation not bound the the constraints of a sixty-year-old franchise. Craig is clearly having the time of his life here, chewing into that honey-dripped Southern accent and down-home charm that makes him seem like a rube to these rich snobs. It’s fun to see his act as merely a front for his razor-sharp intellect. Norton is great at playing the devious, name-dropping Bron, a hustler who’s not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Odom Jr., Hudson, and the always entertaining Bautista do very entertaining work here as well and Kathryn Hahn all but steals her scenes as Claire.
But the standout here (other than Craig) is Janelle Monae. For reasons that I can’t go into here, Monae gives the most complexe performance in the film as Andi Brand, the scorned co-founder of Bron’s company. Due to the plot, her performance is the most multilayered of them all, and her work with Craig’s Blanc is one of the film’s greatest pleasures.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story” is one of those films, like its predecessor, that rewards viewers upon repeat viewings. Rian Johnson is one of our most talented filmmakers working right now and the Knives Out films are prime examples of that skill. Unfortunately “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story” had only a brief theatrical run during Thanksgiving week. But if you missed it in theaters, you can see it when it releases exclusively on Netflix during the week of Christmas. Then you can watch it as many times as you want! 4 1/2 Out Of 5 On Kendog’s Barkometer! So Sayeth The Kendog!