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REVIEW: Daniel Craig is having fun in this magnificent murder mystery

November 30th, 2022 8:00 AM

By Dylan Mangan

GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY (2022) Daniel Craig as Detective Benoit Blanc. Cr: John Wilson / Netflix © 2022

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IT'S mid-lockdown and Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is depressed.

He hasn’t had an exciting case in months and spends all day in the bath - until receives an interesting invitation.

Miles Bron (Edward Norton) is an amalgamation of all the worst parts of the celebrity billionaires that want to go to space.

Every year he invites a select group of friends - affectionately know as ‘The Disruptors’ - to a weekend where they can catch up and spend time together basking in his greatness.

He invites his followers to his private island where they will play a murder mystery game - the murder being teased as his own.

Five invitations are sent, but six guests turn up. Benoit Blanc is a surprise addition, not only to the other guests but to the man who invited them as well.

It turns out he might know less about the murder mystery game than he thought.

Glass Onion is part mystery, part satire, pulling on influences from Poirot and beyond to tell a hugely satisfying story in a hugely satisfying manner.

Every detail is planned in director Rian Johnson’s second installment of a trilogy based around the homely detective Blanc.

As with the first in the series, Rian Johnson pulls together a magnificent ensemble performance, with each member holding their own.

Kate Hudson steals the limelight as Birdie Jay - a former supermodel turned fashion designer who is banned from having her phone due to her tendency to get cancelled.

Is Dave Bautista the best actor to come out of wrestling? He adds another great role to a growing list here as a gun toting Twitch-streamer, and his likeability prevents what should be a stereotype from becoming one.

In fact that’s much of the genius of Rian Johnson’s script and direction. None of his characters seem particularly complicated yet through their actions they defy their stereotypes.

With each twist you learn something new about a character to explain the way they are and add depth to what could be just surface level characters.

Someone you thought was dumb might prove themselves otherwise, and everyone has cleverly hidden motives.

It turns out that Daniel Craig’s best role might come in the form of a warm southerly detective, rather than a cold British spy.

The role of Benoit Blanc - a sort of Colonel Sanders in a detective costume - subverts his Bond image by having him play dumb rather than appear as the smartest person in the room.

His pretend stupidity lowers the guard of the audience along with his suspects, leaving both in the palm of his hands.

Many mystery films focus solely on a single twist. They build and they build until they can build no more and reveal their misdirections in a grand flourish.

Janelle Monae’s role encapsulates the dexterity of the film, almost personifying the script and acting as a centrepiece for others to revolve around.

The beauty of Glass Onion, like its predecessor before it, is that it builds further than other films can. Instead of a single twist we are treated to multiple, each one building on the last and revealing more about each character as it goes, until the whole mystery is unwrapped.

Glass Onion also builds on the first film, making everything bigger and louder. 

The setting changes from a mansion to a mansion on an island. There are more motives, more suspects and more mysteries needing to be solved than first meets the eye.

Johnson turns the audience into de facto detectives, inviting us to scan each frame for clues and remember little details that usually float right by.

We revisit scenes with more knowledge than before and piece together the puzzle until the picture is finally clear - or is it?

Glass Onion will be released on Netflix on December 23rd, so is a perfect film to watch this Christmas.

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