Review: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

by | Jan 27, 2023 | Opinions | 0 comments

The popular Netflix original Knives Out, released in 2019, blew viewers away with a 4.1 star rating on Letterboxd and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, so when the sequel was released in theaters in late 2022, expectations were high. 

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery did a terrific job of meeting those expectations and once again setting the bar high for the next movie (release date TBD). 

When people first think of murder mysteries, they may think of cheesy lines and predictable plots culminating in the cliche ending that the least suspicious person ends up being the culprit. 

However, since the release of Knives Out, the murder mystery genre hasn’t been the same—and many were afraid that Glass Onion wouldn’t live up to the expectations, as many sequels do not. Nevertheless, Glass Onion is a decent sequel, balancing ironic humour with surprising twists and a charged ending — criticizing the rich, just as the first movie did.

Glass Onion starts with a group of old friends/business partners receiving an invitation to a murder mystery party on an island, but soon after their arrival, the supposedly fake search for a murderer becomes a little bit too real. Benoit Blanc, a reoccurring detective played by Daniel Craig, is once again needed to put the puzzle pieces together.

Glass Onion is full of twists and turns, keeping the audience on their toes and just when they think they begin to understand the mystery unraveling, another twist comes. The nail biting, comedic murder mystery stays at least two steps ahead of its audience with its tumultuous plot, and uses dramatic irony to control what the audience thinks they know. 

The dynamic characters drive the plot and make it difficult to predict who the real murderer is. At first glance, most of the main characters look like classic clichés that are easy to figure out— the ignorant influencer, the buff twitch streamer and his young girlfriend, the loyal assistant, the outsider ex, the ousted politician, the scientist, the arrogant billionaire, and of course, the detective. However, later on in the movie, the audience is forced to question whether or not they truly know who these characters are, and if any would be willing to commit murder to secure their position in the world.

While Knives Out criticized classism structure and old money, the sequel criticizes the top one per cent with new money. The metaphor of the “glass onion” is used throughout the film, but particularly at the final reveal, announcing that the answer lies behind a plethora of distracting layers, but the middle is actually completely visible to everyone who can ignore the transparent outside of the ‘glass onion.’ 

Both the plot and cast of the Glass Onion were different from the first movie (except for Benoit Blanc), but it still produces similar reactions and emotions. Glass Onion was able to embody the same curious nature and shocking twists as the first movie.  

Glass Onion was a cinematic masterpiece and lived up to its potential. Releasing the movie in theaters for only one week before being put on Netflix was a quite unique way to release a high-demand movie. Even so, while Glass Onion doesn’t quite live up to the same level as Knives Out, this movie makes an adequate sequel and was able to provide the same satisfaction that came from watching the first movie.

Kaia Janmohamed

The Griff

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