This review is dedicated to the memory of my mother Debbie Hall.
Nineteen years ago, M. Night Shamalyan gave us Unbreakable and little did we know, it would become the first of a trilogy. Two years ago, he gave us Split and that gave us a typical Shamalyan twist by telling us that a third movie was on the way.
So, did this third installment cap off the trilogy in spectacular fashion? Almost.
Of course, all three actors from the first two movies are back: Bruce Willis’ David Dunn a.k.a. The Overseer; Samuel L. Jackson’s Elijah Price a.k.a. Mr. Glass and James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb a.k.a. The Horde.
Willis’ character now runs a security store with son (Spencer Treat Clark) and still uses his superpowers to beat up criminals on the streets. McAvoy is still kidnapping pretty girls and holding them hostage in abandoned environments and he still lets his other personalities come out to play such as Patricia and Hedwig. Then, there’s Mr. Glass whose been institutionalized since Unbreakable and is pretty much in a catatonic state.
Through a chance meeting, Willis encounters McAvoy after attempting to search for him at the end of Split. He engages on combat with Kevin and they end up being arrested and place in the same asylum as Mr. Glass. Sarah Paulson plays a psychiatrist who specializes in studying people with delusions of grandeur. She should have a lot of fun with this trifecta.
Before you know it, Jackson snaps out of his state of mind and sees the potential McAvoy has and decides that the world needs to know they exist.
It’s certainly good to see Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, and James McAvoy reprise their roles and the latter dominates the most screen time with his multiple personalities even if we get way more than what we wanted.
The problem is that Shamalyan wants this story to live up to a state of grandiose potential that is never fully realized.
It all comes down to the idea that there’s so much that’s well-made that you can sense a great movie slipping through its fingers.
Each time we keep hearing of the characters’ superhuman abilities, we want to see them in action instead of being bogged down in so much expository dialogue.
Plus, the climax is very much anticlimactic and I’m not sure if a fourth movie would be satisfactory if Shamalyan decides to make one.
Glass is not quite super or a trainwreck. If anything, it’s consistently mediocre. No more, no less.
(Rated PG-13 for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language.)