Filmmaker Ryan Johnson has been on the rise lately, his name has become a household name thanks to his work on projects such as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Get Knives.” The last detective was a huge success, which marked the beginning of a bona fide franchise starring Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc. The first sequel comes out in the form of a “Glass Bow”, and reviews are starting to arrive. Here’s what critics think of Craig and Johnson’s latest mystery.
In the first film, “Get Knives” was played by an outstanding acting ensemble, and Ryan Johnson did the same in “Glass Bow: The Riddle of “Get Knives”. Daniel Craig is back in the role of Benoit Blanc, joined by Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Katherine Hahn and Dave Batista. Critical reaction to this sequel was somewhat mixed, although Mike Reyes of CinemaBlend gave it 5 stars, stating:
Even trying to describe how funny this movie is seems like a disservice, since words can go so far. Fascinating in its mystery and simply dizzying in its deft hand, Glass Onion shows that Ryan Johnson has nailed the sequel to the game in his footsteps. While he may despise the Clue game, Benoit Blanc should take comfort in the fact that this new adventure once again evokes the same joy as an adaptation of the classic board game.
As mentioned earlier, not all critics were equally impressed with Ryan Johnson’s second work on the Knives Out franchise. Roger Ebert’s own Christie Lemire praised Glass Onion’s performances and visuals, but thought it was a mediocre sequel. How she thought:
In the end, however, the giant glass bulb that rests on top of Miles’ mansion becomes an all-too-fitting metaphor for the movie as a whole: sparkling but empty.
Todd Gilchrist of the AV Club may disagree with this assessment, as he praised Glass Onion for the way it was able to innovate when launching the first film. He even went so far as to call it “the perfect movie to please people,” which is neither a horror movie nor a superhero movie. In his A-review, he stated:
At best, the closest cinematic analogy I can draw in terms of energy and appeal to the “Glass Onion” is “Ocean’s Twelve,” which also avoids repeating the steps of its predecessor, and is also so lively and interesting that the audience feels happy to be invited to the performance. VIP area with movie stars who hang out there.
Considering that “Glass Onion” is the first sequel to Ryan Johnson’s burgeoning franchise, there will undoubtedly be plenty of comparisons to the movie that started it all: “Get the knives.” Although the cast, scenery and plot are different, Brian Truitt of USA Today (opens in new tab) claims that the original is much better. As he wrote in his review:
The fact is that the first “Get knives” is completely different. Angry Chris Evans in a knitted sweater obviously helped, but it was such a fresh breath of air in many ways. The characters fit and matched each other better, and there was an intimate cosiness to it all. The sequel begins as a gangland showdown, and it has a couple of outstanding discoveries that make you doubt what’s really going on, however it loses steam in the climactic third act.
But in comparison, some critics argue that “The Glass Onion” is even a better film than Ryan Johnson’s 2019 original. Lindsay Bar of the Associated Press actually thought it was funnier and bigger than “Getting Knives Out,” which could make a big difference to the future of Johnson’s franchise. As she put it,
As the name suggests, there are many layers to this mystery—even the central murder is not revealed until, deep in the film, Johnson rewinds and reformulates much of what we have just seen. And it’s bigger, wilder and funnier than its predecessor.
Of course, it remains to be seen how viewers will ultimately react to The Glass Onion. Recently, there has been a tendency for films to have a mismatch of critical reaction and audience reaction. Illustrative example: “Rotten tomatoes” scored for “Black Adam”. I also have to wonder how the reaction to the Get Knives sequel might vary depending on when and how they see it. The film will first go to theaters, and then to Netflix. And as such, there is a huge chance for spoilers.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will be released in theaters on November 23, and on Netflix on December 23. In the meantime, check out the release dates of films for 2023 to plan trips to the cinema for the New Year.