Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case involving a close-knit group of wildly successful and powerful individuals.
THE GOOD STUFF
DANNY F****** CRAIG- The thing I’ve noticed with actors who end up playing James Bond is that (with the exception of Sean Connery) they never really find a particular niche once they’re done playing the role. Bond is such a zenith kind of role, in film, that everything that you play after it will pale in comparison =, right? One simply cannot have a signature role that is alongside something the size of James Bond or something that can even match it……. right? Well, as it turns out – that answer is no.
I am not saying that these knives out films will ever be as culturally significant as Bond. But as far as Danny Craig is concerned, Benoit Blanc is a character that is so well written and has such fluorescent idiosyncrasies that audiences around the world can fall in love with him in the same way they did with fictional detectives like Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes, Hugh Laurie’s Gregory House, and Idris Elba’s John Luther. Craig absolutely rocks the house with this performance, very much as he did in the first film. And it’s clear that he’s having a lot more fun this time. If he continues to play this role past the next film, this really can be the thing he is ALSO known for besides Bond.
RIAN JOHNSON- If you are one of these salty, self-entitled, delusional, irrational, crybaby-ass Star wars fans, then Rian Johnson has apparently only directed one film, and that was the movie that “ruined your childhood” in the last jedi. But to the people who actually pay attention to people’s resumés, Rian Johnson has been a very consistent and creative individual behind the camera. He has a lot of potential to be one of the industry’s very best, in fact.
What he does here is take the scale and scope of the first iteration of this franchise and make it a lot more fun. Unlike a lot of sequels to really successful films, this one completely changes the tone of what came before, and it’s all for the better. Like many sequels to successful films, this does have the feeling of a much bigger budget in comparison to what existed before (even though the budgets are the exact same), and it’s all for the better. The glory of how well this is to be received belongs to Craig and Johnson more than anything else.
Somewhere in the world, I would like to think that poetic justice would be served to one of these mad-at-the-world Star wars fans who end up liking this movie, not knowing that he’s directed it. And hopefully, somebody like me will come along and ruin their day and tell them that he did.
Janelle Monae– Monae is absolutely a revelation in this film in a way that she hasn’t been before. From the second act onward, she just has great scene, after great scene, after great scene. Along with Daniel Craig, she is the best part of this excellent film. Notice I said along with Craig and not aside from him. The third act of this movie simply doesn’t work if both of these performances are not excellent. And they are. Monae is already a modern-day R&B/Soul icon. With a couple of more years of performances like this, she could be even bigger than that.
THE BAD STUFF
LESLIE ODOM USAGE- For what he actually does in this film, it’s actually pretty good. The problem is that quite literally everybody else in this cast has their moment to shine in some way. Rather it be a monologue, a meaningful tie-in to the story other than being associated with Edward Norton’s character, or a character that just brings the jokes when the jokes are needed. For a man who has the kind of talent that Odom does, he just doesn’t…do very much.
He plays a scientist, and I only know that because the characters keep saying that he is one. There is a specific part of the plot that has a lot to do with a certain scientific chemical that’s hard to explain. Even in the breakdown of that part of the film, Odom’s character is doing the bare minimum to chew up scenery. A real shame.
THE UGLY STUFF
Not a damn thing.
I completely understand why Netflix bought out the second and third parts of what is supposed to be a trilogy. (Even though Daniel Craig has come out and said that he’d play this character many more times over). Audiences tend to love a good whodunit, and everything makes sense in that way.
I, however, had the joy of seeing this in an absolutely packed theater, and I got to say, even though it may seem silly to pay money to see a movie that you can see on Netflix, it does have a different feel when you’re in an auditorium. This is a movie that is actually a little bit better than what came before, and the first one was a massive hit. I do believe this would also be a hit, box office-wise, and it’s kind of a shame that we’ll never get to see the numbers that it could possibly do.
Glass Onion is in theaters now for a week only. It will premiere on Netflix on December 23rd.