When a hundred billion-dollar corporation is paying for it, can you really eat the rich?From Squid Game and The White Lotus to last week’s culinary comedy-thriller The Menu, the unavoidable question has been eating away at the mainstream anti-capitalist media wave.However, when referring to Knives Out, it seems particularly appropriate.Netflix paid a staggering $469 million in 2020 to acquire the sequel rights to Rian Johnson’s 2019 murder mystery, which pits the morally upright against the wealthy and corrupt.Johnson, to his credit, does not seem to be unaware of the irony, though.
Glass Onion shakes off some of its own internal hypocrisy, whereas 2019’s Knives Out was a leaner, meaner beast rife with resentment toward liberal hypocrisy during the Trump era.It’s a film that’s lighter, brighter, and a lot more straight-forwardly funny. It swaps the gloomy, creaky Massachusetts mansion from its predecessor for the Mamma Mia splendor of a private Greek island.While Knives Out may have stifled a cultural moment, Glass Onion appears designed to last:It’s entertainment for the general public that has its priorities wrong.And that has a great deal of value.
Delicate as a clock, Johnson’s script once more draws from Agatha Christie’s imagination without directly imitating any of her books.His Hercule Poirot, also known as Miss Marple, is once more Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a sporty genius who is dissatisfied with the apparent lack of high-concept murders during the pandemic’s lockdown stage.As a result, he finds it difficult to decline an invitation to a murder mystery getaway at the home of billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a character whose presence here seems to have uncannily predicted the prominence of Twitter’s new owner in the current news cycle. Miles Bron is a distinctly Elon Musk-like figure.
Bron claims to be gathering the most disruptive cultural figures of them all and is obsessed with the empty entrepreneurial phrase “disruption,” which means to upend the status quo.We have men’s rights activist YouTuber Duke (Dave Bautista) and his on-camera girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), a compromised Connecticut governor (Kathryn Hahn), a model-turned-walking PR disaster (Kate Hudson), and a scientist with a business-minded outlook (Leslie Odom Jr.).However, the truth begins to emerge when Janelle Monáe’s ostracized former business partner Cassandra Brand surprises everyone at the party.Cassandra comprehensively squeezes into the very job that Ana de Armas played in the principal Blades Out – the single float of mental soundness in an expanse of nonsense.
Who gets killed and why?Well, all of that is enjoyable.Glass Onion is named after a less well-known song from The White Album in which John Lennon mocks the tendency of Beatles fans to oversimplify his absurd lyrics.That title is a little bit of a red herring in Johnson’s hands; the real trick of Glass Onion is how it asks audiences to pay close attention to the clues, only for them to give the most innocuous asides crucial significance.The film’s construction, as well as the way Steve Yedlin’s camera and Josh Gold’s sound design turn a rotating lighthouse beam and the pings of phone notifications into their own, central setpieces, exhibit this kind of lighthearted, self-assured cleverness.