What have you been watching?


Postby Australia » Fri Jan 25, 2019 12:08 am

I rewatched Unbreakable and Split recently to make sure I was right to be looking forward to Glass and I still really like both. Then I heard it had mixed reviews so fortunately my expectations were lowered enough that I came out barely liking this movie. So with that roaring endorsement, onto the spoilers. I know Dunn, Elijah and Kevin’s names but I’m going to be calling them by their movie names for my own amusement.
The Glass Half Full
They doubled down on McAvoy cycling through Split’s personalities. I don’t know care how repetitive it is, it never gets old, which I can’t say for the movie’s repetition of exposition, hot and fresh out the kitchen, mama rollin’ that body got every man in here wishin’. I lost my train of thought. I guess it’s that I hope McAvoy is a better person than R. Kelly because he was the highlight of the movie.

For the titular character, Glass sure didn’t show up much for the first hour of the movie. It paid off reasonably well despite everyone being ahead of the movie until it inevitably didn’t, which I’ll get into later. But Sammy Jackson is generally great in everything and this is no exception.

After the first act, Unbreakable didn’t get much to do, but even Bruce Willis had the rare bit of emotive acting and Unbreakable was kind of a dry character (ooh, I just got that, if that was M. Night’s intent back in 99. If it was, he should have put that joke in a line of dialogue but I’m not his editor) the first time around so he might have actually been trying in this role. Anyway, all three of the main supers were compelling and I enjoyed them bouncing off each other until they try to do it literally in the most boring action sequence of the last but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sarah Paulson was good. I knew immediately that she was pulling some sort of strings because I’ve seen an M. Night movie before but she did a good enough job playing them that I bought the seeds of doubts in their minds about their powers. Weirdly, Glass was the one who seemed the least convinced because he has no tangible power but I guess it’s to show he was smarter than her. Which it turns out is because she’s a fucking idiot who just knows how to use Google.

I liked the slow burn of them in the facility with the tensions bubbling. It even tricked me into thinking it was rising to a climax or something.

There was an ‘oh duh’ twist like the previous two in the franchise. Unbreakable’s ending is so obvious when it’s revealed and as soon as Split’s correlation is revealed, you think about the title and realise it’s an antonym of unbreakable and if you’d thought twice about it going in, the etymology would jump at you. There’s a few what-the-fuckeries in the last act, but Kevin’s dad being a victim of Glass and him being a creator of supers is like ‘it’s a comic universe, of course they’re going to keep the coincidences coming’.

Most of the stuff I was annoyed at in the first half can be explained away by everyone being involved in the conspiracy. Like they obviously weren’t arrested by the cops and handed over to the shrink for three days. They were kidnapped and awaiting murder which was a nice enough twist that actually wasn’t spelled out with a forty minute monologue with a forced comic analogy (it makes no sense because all the sidekicks know to go there so why wouldn’t the authorities but it’s a movie so I give it a pass). Which brings me to the bad, er, I mean, the joke I’m sure plenty of reviewers have used before me.

The Glass Half Empty
Okay, I’m going to focus on the last act because I have to go to sleep soon and the mehs in the first two acts are the Shamalysms you kind of expect and accept by now.

Okay, I like the idea of teasing a final showdown somewhere and it actually being somewhere completely different, but a fistfight in the carpark of the place they were just in is not more exciting than a public building opening with the threat of explosions.

The action sucked. I liked the horror elements of the movie and I knew from Unbreakable that the action would be somewhat muted but look what the first Deadpool managed to do on a low budget and look at that atrocity. Unbreakable punching down a door was more exciting than he and the Beast going at it. Hell, their first fight in the warehouse was actually pretty decent and this was… eh.

Unbreakable hasn’t learnt to swim for two decades. Okay, you could say he’s still petrified by water but he’s not allergic like Signs were. It’s not like he had to build up a tolerance to it.

Glass kept talking about how they were super “heroes” in the real world, as if this isn’t a world where a blind person grew a personality who could see in the last movie. Also, Kickass, Defendor, Super, actually, most comic book universes start in the real world until they’re allowed to get a little crazier and they’re all more eventful than this. Sure, this is more of a psychological look at the phenomenon but you’ve been locked up for twenty years and your fake plan to expose superpowers to the world in a populated area would have been so much more effective than your real plan to go to the carpark and videotape two people fighting that could be done with any kind of camera trickery and if I saw that online, I would just call them two crazy, albeit strong, people punching each other then breaking an above ground swimming pool.

The breakout was also a bit of a letdown. Glass is just going around flipping switches and turning off cameras. Hey, remember the Guardians breakout scene, where they all used their unique abilities to get the fuck out of space jail? Here, they just more or less wander out aimlessly, but not before killing a few guards. That one guard really liked small-talk, didn’t he? Was he loitering at the door for like, two hours, before going in? Glass had time to steal and hack and switcheroo a bunch of stuff.

I hated all of them dying. Not because I enjoyed them all, which I did, but because I go to movies to see people put in impossible situations and then finding or fighting a way out of it. How are they going to get out of this one? Oh, they didn’t. How creative. Putting that aside, this might be the most boring way of killing superpowered people I have ever seen. One of them dies from getting shot (if the Beast had come back, there’s no proof the bullet would stay in him, he is bullet-resistant). One of them dies drowning in a puddle. I’m not even going to offer an example of a way out of that because there are countless. Which brings us to Glass. Now every time I watch Unbreakable, I’m always let down by the end because it’s just Unbreakable calling the cops and leaving. But the only other real option would be Unbreakable beating the shit out of a dude in a wheelchair who is powerless to fight back so I give it a pass. Well, Glass is killed by someone punching him until something in him ruptures and he just gives commentary for the rest of the scene. You really outsmarted him, Split.

Ellie Staple’s plan was WHAT? Okay, you’re a paranoid group of people who go around killing superheroes so normal people won’t feel inadequate. Because why have hate groups when you can murder the people the hypothetical group would hate and threaten to kill first. Which means you’re taking the place of the hate group and I don’t think you can call yourselves not evil for that. But fine, villain logic, let’s go with that. Staple is a staple of the psych world, it’s good to see she has a more humane way of dealing with superheroes. Now this is going to be my last note so let me split Ellie’s plan into unbreakable steps for [insert glass analogy here]:

Step 1: Lie to them. Not just a lie of omission. If Unbreakable Jr can deduce that Split Sr was killed by Glass with a quick Google, you had to have known but you didn’t use this to your advantage or tell Split at all. I guess you counted on Unbreakable Jr doing that for you if the following steps failed. No, no. You chose to just say "You’re not superheroes. Forget all the transformations and feats of strengths and specific visions you’ve had, you’re just regular people." If they believe you, you’ll let them go so they can keep superheroing and calling it regular heroing, right? Or send them to prison where none of them would possibly try bending the bars at any point.

Step 2: Tell Casey she can’t see Split under any circumstances. Change your mind off-screen. If she brings out Kevin, maybe he’ll believe he’s just crazy. Wait, he already knows he’s crazy but maybe he’ll believe the Beast is a weakling who wasn’t galloping on the roof of the zoo in the last movie and eating all of Casey’s friends. If anyone can convince him he’s wrong, it’s the one person who knows the Beast has supernatural powers. Unbreakable Jr is starting to believe his dad may not be powerful. If Unbreakable sees that even his closest ally is doubting him, maybe he’ll finally cave into the experiment. That’s a big maybe. Send Unbreakable Jr home in a very suspicious way. He might be the one who fed information to his dad on his missions but I’m sure he plucked that out of thin air and won’t start looking into your shenanigans when you won’t let him see the only family he has. In fact, remind him that his mum’s dead. That’ll show him. Nosy prick.

Step 3: Really skimp on your staff. Two unreliable security guards are more than enough when you literally have a SWAT team at your beck and call but as your mother said about your conception "Better sorry than safe". One of your prisoners will ask why the cells to the people with superpowers you’re supposed to be wary of aren’t guarded by even a single person at all times but he’s just trying to outsmart you, despite being the dumb one of the group.

Step 4: Lobotomise them. Oh, Glass knows he’s still supersmart because he didn’t believe the doctors would keep an MRI scan with a cloud on it from Unbreakable for the two decades since the derailment? I mean that’s just one hole the evil genius could poke in your well-structured lie that you told in front of him despite him not needing to be there even though it was one of the best scenes in the movie. Regardless, you should probably cut out the supersmart/strength/beast section of their brains, starting with Glass. You know what I’m thinking, if you're that concerned, why not skip to this step and remove the powers instead of hope they believe your lie about their own lives? Because you’re smarter than me so just shut up! Okay, withdrawn.

Step 0/5: Set up hundreds of cameras everywhere for your illegal experimentation and murder. You can delete the evidence later. It’s not like you keep the evidence in the same building as the superheroes who have proven to overcome barriers in the past. The same superheroes who may resent you locking them up and want revenge. Some would argue that you probably shouldn’t make evidence of your crimes in the first place and instead put in failsafes that protect you as well as your experiment but those people aren’t as smart as you. Tell Glass about the evidence. It’s important to gloat. I love Bond villains too, but they’re generally too ego-driven to care what they confess whereas you’re a humanitarian but it’s just too good to resist, isn’t it? Oh, remember Goldfinger learning from his mistakes after Bond’s escape attempt by having half a dozen men standing in his cell at all times? That was funny. You don’t want to be thought of as a joke, do you? No, the one time the video cameras come in handy and show Glass dancing around outside his room, just put him back in the room the exact same way the next night. I’m sure step 2 worked perfectly fine.

Step 6: Organise a group meeting to gloat about you murdering the superheroes instead of murdering them like they wanted to do. It’s much more humane to capture them, lie to them, torture them and then kill them and it’s important your co-workers know this. Book the meeting in a restaurant but don’t book out the whole restaurant. Wait for the civilians drinking and eating to leave before starting the meeting and lock the door behind them. I guess make the bartenders honorary members of your gang despite them only being drink-pourers. It’s not like you have a secret facility to invite these people to.

Step 7: Go to a comic book shop. I know they say don’t bring your work home with you but I guess work is a hobby for you. Eavesdrop just in case comic book enthusiasts give you a good idea for future research or point out literally the only flaw in your plan.

Step 8: Set up various fake Youtube accounts and write ‘Fake’ under the video exposing your crimes. Glass isn’t alive to stop this master plan. Bwahahahaha.

The Uglass
Okay, so the Cloverfield gang were supposed to be amoral yet the fake cop takes Casey away from the beast and leaves her with the other supervillain. Well done, mate.

Look, the last twenty minutes will either ruin the movie for you or be an ‘oh, that’s it? What a shame’. I was entertained by Glass so it’s already better than the M. Night Slumpalot of the ’00s but it’s no Sixth Sense and as a superhero movie, it gets an Ehhhrnt. That’s my onomatopoeia of the ‘nope’ buzzer. I don’t think that came across.
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