When vigilante David Dunn (Bruce Willis) confronts the split personality killer named “The Beast” (James McAvoy), their showdown is interrupted by the authorities.
Captured, both men are sent to Raven Hill Memorial Psychiatric Hospital for evaluation by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson).
Dunn soon discovers that his nemesis, Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is also incarcerated here.
Dr. Staple is convinced that these men suffer delusions of grandeur in thinking they are superheroes. She is certain that these men are influenced by comics – does life imitate art or does art imitate life?
“Glass” is the third installment in the “Eastrail 177” trilogy and to fully understand and appreciate this third film, one must have seen the previous two.
While the first film, “Unbreakable” introduces us to David Dunn, Elijah Price and their blossoming rivalry, “Split” introduces audiences to the catalyst of the third story, the split-personality of Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy).
In “Glass” these three forces of good and evil clash as authorities explain away their unique abilities with scientific explanations and common sense reasoning.
Themes of light vs. dark, good vs. evil and confidence vs. doubt ricochet throughout this film as Dr. Staple doubles down on her therapies.
Viewers will shift their allegiances throughout the story – first rooting for Dunn, then against Staple’s therapy, then for Price and freedom and so on.
Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan creates a story that forces us to delve deeper into our heroes and villains and makes us question the definitions of good and evil. He defines these unique characters as everyday people and asks us for one simple thing in return – to believe.
The cast gives skilled performances. Willis’ quiet, stoic Dunn, Jackson’s nefarious genius Price and McAvoy’s amazing, multi-faceted Crumb are each memorable in their own distinct way.
The shortcomings of this film are few, but important. The undercurrent of comic themes surface too proudly in the climax, becoming heavy-handed and preachy. In addition, although there is plenty of action and certainly a strong story resolution, there is little tension built within the story which was a defining strength of the previous two films.
“Glass” will shatter your definition of a superhero film. It will reflect a new facet to this genre and will ultimately mirror the superhero within each of us.