Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan best known for 1999’s The Sixth Sense, Glass is a thriller that tries hard to recapture the innovative and entertaining aspects of 2000’s Unbreakable and 2016’s Split, which are directly part of a trilogy that ends with this film. Unfortunately, the rather high expectations for the movie leads the audience astray and the hallmark suspense and unexpected twists of a M. Night Shyamalan movie fall flat as a result of the slow pacing and preposterous ending. We first meet the complicated anti-heroes eluding authorities as they continue to use their supernatural powers straight from a comic book. Eventually, all three of the protagonists are captured and are confined in a old psychiatric hospital: David Dunn, played by Golden Globe winner Bruce Willis and reprising his role from Unbreakable, who is unable to be physically harmed, Elijah Price, played by Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson and reprising his role from Unbreakable, who has enhanced intellectual abilities but breaks bones easily, and Kevin Crumb, played by Golden Globe nominee James McAvoy and reprising his role from Split, who has multiple personalities and can transform into a super strong beast. They are all held under the auspices of receiving treatment from the mysterious Dr. Ellie Staple, played by Golden Globe nominee Sarah Paulson, who argues they are suffering from a mental disorder giving them delusions of grandeur making them believe they are really superheroes. The first half of the film is quite intriguing and thereby entertaining because we get to see the three extremely fascinating and enigmatic characters interact with one another. My favorite part is witnessing James McAvoy’s brilliant acting ability to spontaneously morph into a wide range of personas, including one of a nine-year-old boy, a devious middle-aged woman, and a terrifying creature with supernatural strength. The movie does a commendable job of unraveling a mystery and over time the audience comes to better understand the motivations of the characters, including the doctor. The revelation of shocking truths comes to the forefront when the three heroes, or villains depending on your perspective, confront each other in a final climactic battle after they use their wits and strengths to attempt to achieve freedom. With its somewhat unexpected twists and turns in the storyline, the film is classic M. Night Shyamalan who has made his career based on twist endings. However, the conclusion to the almost two-decade-long trilogy is very much a letdown with a rather lame and shockingly uncreative twist. The filmmaker is also too heavy-handed in trying to make the movie a powerful metaphor for comic books and humanity’s desire for heroes with superpowers to save the day. The potential is there for the movie to be one of his masterpieces that has a greater message than just entertaining the masses, but, unfortunately, the filmmaker’s almost singular focus on surprising the audience clouds his judgement on truly developing the characters and a coherent plotline. Overall, the build-up to an epic conclusion to M. Night Shyamalan’s years-in-the-making trilogy does not pan out and therefore can be best described as yet another disappointment in his hit-or-miss filmmaking career.

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