Concluding the ‘Unbreakable’ Trilogy of films by M. Night Shyamalan, it is hard to imagine anyone heading to Glass without having seen Unbreakable and/or Split. If, for some reason you have not, it is obviously recommended you do.

Having anchored Unbreakable, David Dunn returns, played by Bruce Willis, a man who after being involved in a lethal train crash found out he was the only survivor, which left him with unbreakable bones and super human powers.

The ‘Horde’, who James McAvoy is reprising after his critically acclaimed turn in 2016’s Split, a man who has 24 separate personalities, ranging from the nine-year-old Hedwig, to ‘Patricia’, a serious and proper British lady, to the mysterious and dangerous ‘Beast’.

Finally, there is the title character, ‘Mr Glass’, played by Samuel L. Jackson, returning from Unbreakable of course.

In my opinion ‘Unbreakable’ is a character study masterpiece and ‘Split’ has one of my personal favourite performances of the last 10 years, so I was heavily anticipating this follow-up.


The first act of this film deals with what David Dunn has being doing for the last 19 years since ‘Unbreakable’. I quite liked this section; Bruce Willis’ portrayal of the hero comes across as reserved and haunted and the film does a great job focusing on his character and telling the audience how his life has turned out. Shyamalan does this as with the other two major characters. Their current situations are established, ‘Mr Glass’ (Jackson) has been in prison since the events of ‘Unbreakable’ and the current films storyline is set just after ‘Split’.

The first act really focuses on what a hero is in the M. Night Shyamalan universe and I think he gets the balance just right between action and subtle character nuances. The second act is what has been mainly shown in the trailers, set in the asylum and lends itself back to the strengths of ‘Unbreakable’.

The character driven story provides greater depth for each of the characters whilst creating a fascinating narrative, within the second act. Some may argue that this section of the film is slow, but this is where the film diverts from what most people consider to be a classic superhero film. These films have never been about the spectacle; the great director Quentin Tarantino referred to ‘Unbreakable’ as ‘What if Superman was here on earth and didn’t know he was Superman?’.

The second act is also where Samuel L. Jackson shines. McAvoy steals the film with his performance and will again receive plaudits as he takes on even more of the Horde’s personalities in this film than he did in ‘Split’, but there is something so entertaining about watching a good villain who can outsmart his opposition, which in this case are the asylum staff, including Dr. Ellie Staple, played by Sarah Paulson.

Jackson plays his character along the perfect line of fanatical, but very convincingly. The charisma and cunning with which he plays the part means you can’t help but root for him, even while at the same time you’re rooting for Willis to overcome evil and McAvoy, his inner demons.

The third act however is where I think the major issues for most viewers begin. There is evidence of ‘Shyamalanisms’ in previous parts of the film (dialogue that no normal person would say, shoehorned in M. Night cameos etc), but none of these are major enough to remove you from the emersion of the film. The third act is a bit of a mess; there are a lot of positives within it, but once it tries to become a full-blown superhero movie with a final showdown, it loses a lot of its individualistic charm.  Furthermore, the film seems to try to introduce new plot strands while tying up the existing ones, which creates an unfocused conclusion. The actual final ending I personally liked, and I feel like it provides a good final note for the trilogy.

Overall, I believe that there are a lot of positives to take from the film. The tone shifts for the majority and gives the same air of mystery and character-driven stories from the previous films, though I do think at points M. Night Shyamalan was unsure about how to finish his trilogy. The end sequence seemingly comes together with multiple, conflicting ideas, with the flashiness of traditional comic book movies clashing with Shyamalan’s nuanced style.

I will recommend this film to fans of the series, but do not go in if you are expecting a superhero film in line with the MCU, or DC movies as you will leave disappointed.

Movie Review: Glass
3.5Overall Score
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