I know you want to hear about Glass, but no, not yet. David and The Beast, one of Kevin’s many personalities, have a run in and are immediately captured by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson). Dr. Ellie specializes in treating patients that have delusions of being a superhero and whisks the pair away to a mental hospital just outside of the city.
So it is here, finally, roughly one hour into the film that we are reunited with Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). He too is undergoing treatment for believing he is a superhero. Visited only by his long-suffering mother (Charlayne Woodard) he sits, silent, in his wheelchair in a padded room. As Dr. Ellie Staple begins treating the three of these men simultaneously, we are slowly introduced to their supporters. David’s son Joshua, Mr. Glass’ mother, and Kevin’s victim from Split, Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) all of whom are, for one reason or another, championing for the release of their loved ones. But of course, Mr. Glass is the brains in this movie, and he has a lot up his sleeve. It’s just a pity that it takes us 1 hour and 14 minutes into the 2 hr and 9-minute runtime before our title character gets to speak. (Oh, sorry, spoiler alert, he talks).
“We get flashes of sinister brilliance…McAvoy is the star of this one.“
The plot finally gets going, and we barely get enough time with the elegantly sinister Jackson before the second and third acts get the bum’s rush, and the credits begin to roll. This is not to say Glass is a bad film. It’s actually a pretty good one, to be honest. The issue is that Shyamalan doesn’t have the dexterity in storytelling to juggle so many through lines. He is a very linear kind of guy. It’s not a bad thing per se, just a thing that doesn’t work when you have so very much to say in a given time.
Willis is Willis here, doing the Bruce Willis thing, but being pretty damned good at it. Jackson is Jackson here given hardly enough material to warrant the film being named after him. We get flashes of sinister brilliance, but we are never offered the time to truly savor his villainy. McAvoy is the star of this one. This man is profanely good at exuding a riot of personalities with record speed. Paulson as the ring leader of treatment does a fine enough job but isn’t really given enough to work with here.