Knives Out sequel is a total blast.

Rian Johnson’s Running Success Knives outA movie that everyone loved when it was released in 2019 (I remember watching it Thanksgiving weekend with a bunch of friends, the last time we laughed together in a theater for three years now), it had everything to do with how it revived a genre that was already dead: the A clue-style murder mystery. Gather a group of movie actors who play different social classes in a fenced, isolated place (at the event, in a large Gothic house in Massachusetts), beat a number of them under mysterious circumstances, and call a world-famous detective (Daniel Craig’s portrayal. super-sleuth Benoit Blanc) to bring out the killer: What What would be the easiest way to hang a far-from-simple story involving class privilege, manufacturing warfare, triple plot twists, and instantly memorable sweaters?

This Thanksgiving, Johnson is back together Glass Onion, which is not a sequel in the usual sense, because the plot and all but one of the characters have changed completely. Instead, it is a new mystery by Benoit Blanc, an idea that goes back to the days of the Pink Panther or Sherlock Holmes, when the colorful crime solver was the constant between the independent universe and the other. (More recently, Kenneth Branagh revived Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nilebut despite a strong previous box-office performance, no one had the talent to match it Knives out or the researcher’s attractive beard.) Blanc’s case falls apart when she has nothing to do with a wealthy family’s real estate battle but a group of old friends reunite for a weekend on a private island. Their host, tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), has invited this list of would-be influencers to what he has created as a murderous group, where they will symbolically stumble upon it and their job will be to find out who is among them. you did it and why.

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It was introduced in a split-screen phone conversation early on with many serious suspects. Birdie (Kate Hudson) is a washed-up model who fancies herself a brave internet whistleblower, to the horror of her shy stalker (Jessica Henwick). Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.) is a brilliant scientist now working with Miles on a top secret project. Duke (Dave Bautista), who plays a candy-armed lover named Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), is a men’s rights YouTube star trying to break into the mainstream media. Claire (Kathryn Hahn) is the governor of Connecticut, a silver-tongued neoliberal with behind-the-scenes moral dilemmas. And Andi (Janelle Monáe) is Miles’ ex, who helped him build software that made him rich only to be cheated out of sharing the profits. For reasons no one can fathom, Benoit Blanc, although not a long-time member of the group of people who call themselves “disruptors,” has been invited to his luxury Greek island Miles, named after a Beatles song. title.

Blanc soon solves the mystery he planned for Bron in this meeting, which aggravates his army. But there are difficult enigmas to be followed, which I will present only by noting that, as before. Knives out, changes in the way we understand the case often result from a change of perspective, as the same events are revisited from the perspectives of different characters. A social media snippet from Birdie’s phone shows Yo-Yo Ma in one of the many stars. (Angela Lansbury, Stephen Sondheim, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Natasha Lyonne—all of whom have starred in or written their own murder mysteries—share a memorable Zoom screen shot later, while later on there’s a brief and additional appearance from a certain world-class athlete.) famously cutting a slice of pizza, explains the concept of fugue music. It’s like a lot more glass onion, this is a visual sign: the upcoming movie will follow a fugal structure, with the same main events unfolding in different contexts.

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Putting together a complex puzzle box doesn’t click together as convincingly as before Knives out, and the identity of the suspects is not well known. Some of them, especially Odom Jr.’s and Hahn’s underwritten characters, come off more like game pieces at the behest of Colonel Mustard or Mrs. But Johnson’s twisted script and visually packed frame offer something few modern blockbusters do: connect with the audience’s emotions in the moment. Like Hitchcock, another filmmaker who was a master of crowd-pleasing, Johnson knows how to pace a movie so that it alternates rhythmically between laughs and suspense, tension and catharsis, while playing with the audience’s expectations of what a whodunit should be. To see Glass Onion in a packed theater, all of us whooping and gasping in unison, it was a deeply satisfying social experience, which made it all the more sad that the film only got one award-winning week at the box office before streaming on Netflix starting Dec. 23. .

After almost ten years of contract enforcement as James Bond, Daniel Craig seems to be losing hope. time.

If there was a substitute award at the Oscars, Glass Onion it will be the key to the election. The dialogue is fast-paced and verbally dense, and everyone in the game claps it back and forth with as much skill as visual enjoyment. Norton is brutal in sending the religion of the software-engineer-as a vision that has given us a world that is run inappropriately by the likes of Elon Musk-although Miles is a hippie-dippie wannabe more in the style of Steve Jobs, who greets his guests barefoot and. Paul McCartney’s guitar strumming. Hudson plays the shameless Birdie as a ditzy but calculating dame in a screwball comedy. And Monáe, a singer who has previously played dramatic roles, here gets a chance to play a comedic role as the haughty Andi reveals an unexpected vulnerability. As for Daniel Craig, after almost ten years of contract enforcement as James Bond, he seems to be having a wonderful time as the courtly but stern Blanc, enjoying each line as if it were a sip of top-drawer bourbon, his fall Knives out The tweeds have been replaced by pastel-forward resort wear (the beautiful, edgy dresses are recreated by Jenny Eagan).

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John Lennon wrote the song “Glass Onion” (which plays during the closing credits of the film) as a prank. The lyrics are a mindless series of red herrings designed to confuse the kind of observant Beatles fans who turn interpretive theories to every obscure lyric. The joke of the song is summed up in the image of the title – the glass onion is a complex and transparent object, complex but simple, carefully constructed without any single purpose other than to create something beautiful. Repurposing this phrase as the name of a high-tech entertainment dome for an empty billionaire was a bit ironic on Rian Johnson’s part, but it works as a metaphor for his movie. as well.


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