21 January 2019

This Glass Is Half Empty

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If M. Night Shyamalan filmed himself taking a dump into a flower pot and then kicked it at a stray cat then I'd consider him a genius. Not because of that but because he directed the masterpiece Unbreakable and nobody will ever be able to take that away from him. We all remember Lord Byron for being one of our greatest poets and yet we don't let his genius be tainted by the fact that he used to collect his lover's pubic hair in a carefully organised file. I think that the same should apply to Shyamalan with Unbreakable being proof of his genius and with the rest of his movies being his file of matted pubes. Also if Shyamalan did film himself crapping into a flower pot and then kicking it at a cat then it'd still be a better movie than The Last Airbender. I enjoyed his The Visit and I was really enjoying his Split until the final few seconds revealed it to be a secret Unbreakable sequel and I lost my shit. I was so excited to see Bruce Willis's David Dunn back and I was even more excited to see what was going to happen next. I really wanted to like this new film too simply to be able to use the pun that Glass was smashing!

Unbreakable ended with David Dunn deciding that he was super strong and that he was going to go off and punch criminals to make himself feel better about his life. I mean it's either that or fisting, and I guess that fisting is too dangerous with him and his powers. Split ended with Kevin and his multiple personalities going on the run with the more dangerous persona of The Beast now seemingly in charge. I can only imagine his nightmare here too. I only have one prick personality in my head and even that can get a bit much at times. This new film Glass begins with David and Kevin being arrested and sent to a mental asylum that very specifically deals with crazy people that think that they're superheroes. If I was Kevin though I'd probably point out that at no point did I claim to be a superhero. I can walk on ceilings and if they think that makes me a superhero than that's fine but that's their assumption and not mine. God, I can hear my annoying smart arse voice saying that to them as well and it's already pissing me off, so I really do feel for Kevin and his multiple personalities.

Anyway, Mr Glass from Unbreakable is here too because the doctors have diagnosed his being smart as a superpower which I guess is thanks to the fucking state of the education system in America. They're also being held there by Dr Ellie Staple who may coincidentally be also one of the stupidest characters that I've seen in something for a good while. She has three days (for some reason) to convince the three characters that they're not superheroes but actually normal people that keep misinterpreting their own actions. David Dunn can tell the evil people have done by touching them which she claims might really be because he's subconsciously reading their tells like a magician. So what she's saying to him is that he's such a good magician that even he's actually falling for his own tricks. Is that a really good magician or a really stupid one, I wonder? David is chained to a chair whilst she's explaining this to him and originally I wondered why he didn't simply break his shackles to show how fucking dumb she's sounding. Looking back on the scene I think that maybe he was just too fucking embarrassed on her behalf to do it.

For a good two-thirds of this film, I was kind of enjoying it too. Glass doesn't have the sadness of Unbreakable or the tension of Split, but it does have their characters and I love their characters. There's a brokenness to all three that I really feel for and it's just insane to see James McAvoy play more personalities in one scene than Woody Allen has played in his entire career. It was fun seeing them all come together too and although I thought that their doctor was a moron, I was sure it would all gel by the time of the twist ending. I could forgive the film's silliness and complete lack of mood if they pulled something special out in the final few minutes. And I don't think I'm spoiling too much to say that there is a twist ending being that this is a Shyamalan movie. Except that the problem is that there are actually more twists here than in a pig's dick and every one of them is even stupider than the last. Not only do they not make up for the silliness of the doctor and her idiotic methods but they end up making her and almost everybody else in the film even fucking dumber. It's kind of like the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense which seemed clever at the time but then ended up falling down the more we all thought about it and wondered why Bruce hadn't noticed that all of humanity was ignoring him. Except these twists fall down even quicker than a tart's knickers after she's "accidentally" tripped down the stairs of the dildo factory, and in all cases the whole thing just feels clumsy.

Perhaps one of the main problems is that Unbreakable was years ahead of its time in the way that it deconstructed the comic book genre before the comic book movie boom had really taken off. And Split was basically its own fun little trashy movie until the final few seconds. Whereas Glass is coming out at a time in which comic book movies are more common than a tramp with crabs and it really has nothing new to say. There's nothing here that's not in Unbreakable except where Unbreakable had subtlety, this has endless monologuing. At one point, Mr Glass was waffling on for so long that I forgot that they were in a lunatic asylum and just assumed that the prick was filibustering for some reason. I have no idea what this film's tagline is but if it's not, “So Much Unnecessary Exposition” then that poster has fucking lied to you. It also manages to somehow leave all of the characters in a position in which you don't feel like they were really fully explored. It's not unusual these days to say that Bruce Willis's performance seemed wasted but here I mean because he's given little to do and not because he seemed bored and fucking drunk. At the start of the movie Willis actually seems to be putting the effort in and for a brief second we're reminded that he's more than a single bollock with a frown drawn on it.

By the end of the film, the main three characters seem to have their own three supporters. David has his son, Mr Glass has his mother, and Kevin has that girl that he had locked up and tried to eat in the previous film. Does one of them seem like the odd one out to you? I couldn't decide if she had one of the worst cases of Stockholm syndrome in recorded history or if Shyamalan had simply forgotten that she might be an inappropriate character to set up as a love interest for him. In the end, I think that the relationship between those two characters might simply be another example of the stupidity of this movie. I didn't hate Glass but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel the same kind of disappointment in my stomach as I imagine my parents did when I turned out the way I have. I was excited to have Shyamalan back in the world of Unbreakable and working on this sequel however it seems that the wrong version of him ended up taking 'the light' and we actually got the director of The fucking Happening. Right now I'm getting through it by consoling myself with the fact that the movie seemed to really go downhill when a certain character was threatened with a lobotomy. In my mind, that lobotomy happened and the stuff that I didn't like was simply their dream as chunks of their brain were being scooped out. I doubt that that's what actually happened in the story but I definitely feel like a lobotomy was involved somewhere in the creation of this movie. Thanks for reading, motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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