The 2019 hit ‘Knives Out’ getting the franchise treatment may be one of the best things to happen on this miserable planet. I can watch Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc solve mysteries forever. If it wasn’t clear enough by now, the original movie is one of my favourite movies in recent memory. The announcement of two new movies naturally brought me great joy however, the fact that Netflix bought the rights fizzled my enthusiasm. The quality was not what worried me, it was moreso the lack of a theatrical release, in fact Malta never even showed it anywhere which is super sad considering how great this sequel is and how grander it is. ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ may not carry that emotional weight but its joyously confusing mystery and hilarious characters make for a Benoit Blanc adventure that had me and my mother in stitches from laughter.
mild spoilers and character details for ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ are featured in this review.
As I mentioned in my first ‘Knives Out’ review, my mother grew up watching ‘Murder She Wrote’ with her mother and she loves a good mystery so I showed her the first movie and she liked it a lot so I decided to watch to watch this for the first time with her. After a busy holiday season and beginning of the year with a trip and all, we finally got some time to watch it and I think she loved this even more than the first one. For me, it’s not as good as ‘Knives Out’ but there are some things this movie improves upon, namely the humour and the presentation of the mystery’s unravling at the end. What I will say is that the original movie had an emotional layer to it that this one just lacks and so the despite a hilarious reveal at the end, it’s not as satisfactory or mind-blowing as the mystery of the first movie but then again, that’s the point. There is a better build-up of tension in certain scenes and the use of going back to the past to recontextualize what we just saw is done better here than it is in the first movie, it’s a great way to throw us off and reveal new layers to a great mystery. I won’t spoil any elements of the actual mystery but that Hugh Grant cameo was indeed everything, whoever made that happen, thank you.
As far as sequels with a different cast, I feel that ‘Glass Onion’ doesn’t really capitalize on it’s cast as much as the first ‘Knives Out’ did. I mean they had Toni Collette try and grab Jamie Lee Curtis to dance with her who only rejects her and forces her to dance with herself. We had Chris Evans telling the entire cast to eat shit and Daniel Craig use a donut and it’s hole as a metaphor for a good two minutes. Here, however, the only stars that get to shine besides Craig who does a good amount of heavy lifting, are Janelle Monáe who is an excellent lead co-starring with Craig. Her story was reminiscent of the one Ana De Armas shared in the first movie and the formula works just as great here. Kate Hudson, Edward Norton and at times Dave Bautista who really should’ve gotten more screen-time. The rest of the cast is quite honestly sidelined, with little to no standout moments. Kathryn Hahn should’ve been utilized far better in my opinion. It is also bizarre that Leslie Odom Jr. has now been in two modern murder mystery movies and not have a memorable character in either of them. Madelyn Cline devoured the screen with the few crumbs she was given. The true star however, remains Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc who is somehow even more fantastic here than he was in the first movie. From his snazzy outfit and witty lines to his eagerness to solve and explain any mystery presented but most importantly that he is gay! The community won big with this one, thank you Rian Johnson, I sort-of forgive you for setting up Finn with Rose and not Po in ‘The Last Jedi‘.
Overall, ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is a sequel that is just as fun and more hilarious even if it does suffer from a lack of emotional depth. While the cast isn’t as well utilized, the ones who do get to shine do it brilliantly and they do it give the movie a lot of wonderful comedic moments. I truly had no idea what to expect from a sequel to the first movie but this was definitely a blast to watch, I love the concept a lot and I cannot wait to see what they do with the upcoming sequel, here’s hoping for more.
‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is now streaming on Netflix.