Daniel Craig is back as Detective Benoit Blanc for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. During his latest outing, Blanc travels to a wealthy tech mogul’s private island and finds himself embroiled in a new mystery.
In addition to Craig, the film’s ensemble cast includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista.
Blanc is back!
Oh, Daniel Craig. How we missed your Foghorn Leghorn-meets-Hercule-Poirot energy as Detective Blanc. Craig gives his Glass Onion performance his all, and obviously delights in playing this wacky and witty character. We get to see a lot more of Blanc’s fun-loving side in this mystery (and in truly unexpected ways). The bathtub, the virtual pandemic games, the enthusiastic crossbow solve. Wading into a pool in a full, matching shorts-and-shirt combo. And on top of it all, still cracking the case. In a word, it’s delightful.
Glass Onion ensemble elevates this movie to the next level
Surrounding Craig is an excellent ensemble cast, full of wild, loveable (or love-to-hateable) characters. Like Craig, everyone in this movie is giving it their all, and it shows. Janelle Monáe especially shines; her character begins quite buttoned up and mysterious. But when the onion layers start to peel back and we learn more about her, Monáe really takes things to the next level.
Overall, Glass Onion is full of strange bits, character quirks, and jokes both smart and dumb. Why is Kathryn Hahn wearing nothing but beige ensembles so funny? Who but Dave Bautista could store a handgun in his Speedo and still be so charming? How does Kate Hudson manage to make her face look like the equivalent of an infinitely spinning loading wheel on a stubborn webpage? I don’t have answers to these questions, but I’m very glad to be asking them.
Murder, mayhem, and mystery
Plot-wise, Glass Onion kicks things off with a literal giant puzzle box. You feel interested and invested immediately in the solve; plus, watching the group’s different approaches to figuring out the box acts as a great introduction to their characters. When the box cracks open to reveal an invitation to a tech mogul and old friend’s private island, everyone agrees to venture out for a weekend vacation.
(Side note: this might be the only Covid-referencing movie where I actually like how the pandemic was incorporated into the plot.)
Upon entering the Glass Onion – the island compound – the guests find themselves taking part in a murder mystery party…until someone dies for real. And then everyone’s secrets, fears, and motivations swirl into a whodunnit worthy of Detective Benoit Blanc.
Swirled throughout are plenty of laughs, celebrity cameos and name-drops, goofs about Edward Norton’s private island tech, a significant plot point involving the Mona Lisa, and enough red herrings, twists, and secrets to keep you guessing. Glass Onion is pure, chaotic fun.
Is Glass Onion better than Knives Out?
2019’s Knives Out proved a smash hit for writer/director Rian Johnson. It garnered praise from critics and audiences alike. So, how does this murder mystery sequel hold up to its predecessor?
Put simply, if you enjoyed Knives Out, Glass Onion should fit the bill quite nicely. Personally, I think the “whodunnit” mystery element is a bit stronger in the first film. However, Glass Onion’s characters are even wilder, lending the sequel to have even more laughs. It’s very much a worthy successor to Knives Out.
All in all, Glass Onion is just a really good time. It has enough laughs to make it work as a comedy, and enough intrigue to make it work as a mystery. It’s entertaining from start to finish. Your biggest complaint after watching will be that you can’t immediately dive into another new Benoit Blanc mystery. (Knives Out TV series WHEN?)