A review of the movie “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

“Knives Out” was a critical and commercial success and, while I enjoyed it, I found it overrated. Three years later, thanks to Netflix, we have a new murder mystery again written and directed by Rian Johnson. Of course, Benoit Blanc is back as the world’s greatest detective, but Daniel Craig is no better at effecting a Southern US accent.

The venue switches from an American home to a Greek island and, except for Blanc, all the characters are new, notably a billionaire disrupter played by Edward Norton and a key member of the murder mystery party portrayed by Janelle MonĂ¡e. Other party guests are represented by medium profile actors such as Kate Hudson and Dave Bautista and there are no less than nine tiny cameos from the likes of Serena Williams and Hugh Grant.

So the thespian ensemble and the exotic sets provide plenty of visual entertainment. However, it is all very light and frothy, with much parodying of celebrity culture, as a result of which the whole thing is more about comedy than criminality. The ending especially is just plain silly. But the film seems to be doing well, so I fear that we’re in more of this old-fashioned hokum.

Note: The title “Glass Onion” refers to The Beatles’ song from The White Album. The song is enigmatic and therefore it was thought to be appropriate for a murder mystery movie. Director Rian Johnson has expressed his frustration over having to add “A Knives Out Mystery” to the film’s title for marketing purposes.


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