“Looking through the bent-backed tulips
To see how the other half live
Looking through a glass onion.” – The Beatles
In “Knives Out,” writer/director Rian Johnson introduced us to super sleuth Benoit Blanc, an unconventional detective-for-hire with the laid-back style of a southern gentleman.
Clearly inspired by Agatha Christie, Blanc’s MO is to drop in to the middle of a mystery with a slew of colorful suspects linked by secrets and lies.
Blanc is played by Daniel Craig who seems to be having way more fun here getting out of scrapes with his intellect than he ever did as James Bond shooting his way out.
In the sequel to “Knives Out,” fully titled “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Blanc finds himself on a private Greek island at the invitation of eccentric billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton).
In addition to Blanc, Miles has invited a group of his oldest and dearest friends to the island for a supercharged, murder-mystery dinner.
The fun-and-games quickly come to an end and as the stakes get raised with deadly implications, Blanc must sort through a parade of oddball suspects, including: a washed up model (Kate Hudson), a social media influencer (Dave Bautista), a scientist (Leslie Odom Jr.), a high-climbing politician (Kathryn Hahn) and a jilted, former business partner (Janelle Monae).
Like in “Knives Out,” the mystery in “Glass Onion” is fun and twisty, but is really just there to propel the movie along. The main attraction is watching this talented cast bounce off of each other as the proceedings get increasingly wild.
Everyone here brings their A-game, and while Craig is the anchor that holds this movie down, it is Monae that winds up stealing the show in a performance that is definitely worthy of award consideration.
“Glass Onion” is a romp with a sly sense of humor and plenty of clever cameos thrown in to spice things up.
But while Johnson clearly wants to entertain us, he makes sure he leaves plenty of room to slip in the “eat-the-rich” sensibilities that color most of his movies. He doesn’t just want to hoist the wealthy and powerful with their own petard, he wants to chop the petard up into tiny pieces, set it on fire and then bury the ashes at the bottom of the ocean.
“Glass Onion” is likely not the last we’ve seen of Benoit Blanc, and I’m excited by the prospect of watching him peel back the layers of another mystery.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is rated PG-13 for strong language, some violence, sexual material and drug content.