‘Knives Out’ Sequel Goes Through a Confusing Mystery

rian johnsonThe delicious police novel of 2019 knives out It wasn’t the last memorable movie before COVID-19 changed everything. But maybe it was the last time we had fun.

A modern version of the Agatha Christie mysteries, knives out it had all the makings of an instant classic. Backed by a cozy fall aesthetic that inspired deep envy on Pinterest—especially Chris Evans, whose well-worn fisherman sweater became a menswear must-have—the film made a calorie-packed meal of its A-list cast, a script lively and affectionate filmmaking from a director so clearly enamored of Christie’s works. And its satire of a family of vultures pecking at a large heirloom made its Thanksgiving release window an especially clever coup.

Crystal Onion: A Knives Out MysteryIn theaters November 23 and Netflix December 23, it is an electric standalone sequel to writer/director Rian Johnson with almost all the same bugs and features as its predecessor, albeit with a new flavor. Gone are the chestnut hues and aromas of coffee in the New England fall rain, now there are the blue skies and sun-kissed hard bodies of a Greek island getaway. Also gone was the dysfunctional family trapped in the financial teat of a wealthy patriarch. Instead, there are dysfunctional friends caught up in the lopsided power scales of a sociopathic tech billionaire, played by Edward Norton.

While it is essentially a repackaged knives out, glass onion — a title that alludes to false complexities that can still be “see through” — stands on its own thanks to riotous performances, gorgeous production design (beautifully captured by Johnson collaborator Steve Yedlin), motifs, and soon-to-be zingers. they will be memorable, and their own gripping mystery packed with juicy drama. It’s stylish and funny enough to master its weakest elements, namely a roundabout plot that’s almost dizzying. Still, there’s an undeniable joy in witnessing shallow and ruthless creatures caught up in a finger-pointing and insulting Mexican standoff.

Set in the early days of the pandemic in 2020, glass onion’The rich giant is Miles Bron (Norton), an eccentric Elon Musk-like figure who lives on his own private Mediterranean island. Looking to spice up the quarantine, Miles invites his inner circle to a weekend murder mystery. Guests include a science clerk (Leslie Odom Jr.); his former business partner (Janelle Monáe); a Governor from Connecticut (Kathryn Hahn); a supermodel-turned-designer (Kate Hudson) and her bewildered assistant (Jessica Henwick); and an alpha fitness influencer (Dave Bautista) and his girlfriend (Madelyn Cline). But one invitation somehow ends up in the hands of Benoit Blanc, the famous gentleman detective.

Once again, an all-star cast takes part in a lavish, escapist murder mystery.Netflix

Resuming his role knives out, Daniel Craig is back as the absorbing Benoit, sporting his incessantly entertaining non-Rhotic Louisiana accent and enviable wardrobe once again. Avoiding the effortless conundrum that made Benoit feel like Bond’s American cousin, Benoit in glass onion he has a more goofy demeanor and gee, an air of glad to be here for him. glass onion he’s the perfect blank canvas for Craig, a dignified actor who’s secretly brilliant at playing a buffoon. Since its appearance in snl a a recent vodka ad, glass onion he’s finally giving Craig space for his team to get a haircut. But this surface texture only betrays his keen competence as a researcher, which hasn’t waned since. knives out.

Rian Johnson hasn’t gotten boring as a director either, even if his bolder choices don’t feel quite as sharp as they have in the past. Johnson plays again with point of view and skewed perspectives as he did in Knives out. The filmmaker expands his narrative in a maximalist way with glass onion, accumulating layers of complexity at the cost of coherence. It’s not that glass onion it’s hard to follow per se, but keeping up can be its own distracting puzzle. knives out It’s still a fun watch because there’s just enough to hold onto without making the experience feel like a chore. For any reason, glass onion he is compelled by larger and sometimes tedious ambitions. Only when Johnson finally steps on the gas in the second act, glass onion find any moment of real breakthrough.

While the A-list cast delivers competently enough, it’s Daniel Craig who really lights the flames of glass onion.Netflix

Benoit Blanc’s ongoing expansion is exciting, to be sure. Finally, our modern, plugged-in, doomscrolling generation has our very own Hercule Poirot: an ultra-skilled, eccentric detective who can immerse himself in any story and setting and still unmask a universal truth. through both knives out Y glass onion, Benoit has immersed himself in cases in which greed violently cuts interpersonal ties. The participants in these whodunits seem like shallow clowns, blind to the fact that only the connections we make foster a life worth living.

It is fascinating, if sadly hollow, how glass onion plunges into the still-fresh bleakness of Covid, a time of widespread reassessments of priorities. glass onion Ironically, he doesn’t question the perennial pursuit of wealth too much with the 2020 zeitgeist specificity in his text (which, again, speaks to Johnson’s strangely elusive craftsmanship this time). But when we return to the orbit of stalwart Benoit Blanc, whom we met just before the world abruptly got scarier, we are reminded only of how far we’ve come and how little we’ve changed.

Crystal Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in theaters November 23 and on Netflix December 23.

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