Gilbert Speaks on Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

This is definitely the year to eat the filthy rich, and Hollywood has joined the table with a kick-as series and films. I’ve already posted reviews on The White Lotus and The Menu, but I have to say that Glass Onion is, in my opinion, the best. Let’s find out why.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Before I begin the review, I need to rave about Daniel Craig. I first fell in love with Daniel Craig from all his Bond Films. He was your typical cool and handsome government assassin, but never did I expect to see his comical side. As Detective Benoit Blanc in both Knives Out and Glass Onion, Daniel Craig has blown my mind…in a good way.

Glass Onion is a stand-alone sequel to Knives Out, which means you can enjoy this film without watching Knives Out, but why would you want to do that? Please watch both! Written, produced and directed by Rian Johnson, the film stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, and Madelyn Cline.

Glass Onion begins with the delivery of a puzzle box and a hidden invitation to a sunny island of Greece. All this takes place during the Covid shutdown. Poor Benoit Blank (Daniel Craig), who has taken to long baths and group video games, is yearning for a good ole fashioned mystery, which luckily for him…knocks at his door.

The invitation is from tech wiz Miles Bron (Edward Norton). Bron is hosting a murder mystery weekend, where he will be the murder victim. Bron is so filthy rich that he not only owns the island that features a humongous glass onion on the roof of his mansion, but Bron can also influence the lives of the people beholden to him.

The invitations are for seven people, which includes politician Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), scientific genius Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), film star and fashionista Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick), who has the impossible job of hiding Birdie’s phones because Birdie tweets out racist stuff. Next is Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), a podcast personality fighting for men’s rights and his girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline), who Duke uses to win favors from Miles. Last but not least, is Andi Brand (Janelle Monae), who has lost everything after Bron stole her rights to the creation of Alpha. Why would Andi show up to this event after being betrayed by Bron and the others?

Bron, who is at first confused as to why or how Blank received an  invite, changes his mind and welcomes having a famous detective as part of the murder mystery. We soon realize that Andi isn’t the only one that hates Bron…and for good reasons.

Bron

A lot of people who have watched this film, compared Edward Norton’s Bron to another rich and obnoxious entrepreneur, but Rian Johnson wrote the script during the Covid lockdown and before Elon Musk bought Twitter. He did not write the script with Musk in mind as the inspired archetype of unconstrained privilege, but boy, does that shoe fit. Edward Norton’s Bron is a man who uses his wealth to disrupt the world.

Bron has called his friends/enemies together to promote his next project, Klear, a dangerous hydrogen based alternative fuel that has the possibility to randomly blow up and turn each home, business, government site into the Hindenburg. Bron uses his wealth to control or break people. He is arrogant enough to have powered his mansion with Klear even though Lionel has warned Bron of the dangers. Bron is rich enough to even have the real Mona Lisa on loan at this island. That kind of wealth and power does something to a person. And…Bron…has a secret that he is withholding from the others…but so does Andi.

Conclusion

I am a big fan of Brit Box and British mysteries. My favorite Agatha Christie character is Poirot…and I find that Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc is close as you can get to the famous Hercule Poirot. They are both mannerly and unobtrusive and that is what trips up the bad guys. Observation and a keen eye for clues always gets to the heart of the crime. Bron is not a smart man. He steals his ideas from others. He will do anything to protect his lifestyle and thirst for power, but like I said before, Andi has her own secrets, which I will not reveal here in this post.

Rian Johnson has achieved something special with his Knives Out mysteries. In a world of instant gratification, instant news, it is so much fun to be part of an old fashioned mystery. Rian Johnson is planning on more films featuring the Benoit Blanc character, and Daniel Craig is on board for the fun.

We don’t learn until the very end how Blanc got invited to the island, but I was not disappointed and I eagerly await the next Knives Out mystery.

My advice to you all is to watch Knives Out and Glass Onion…and get a subscription to Brit Box for Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple and Poirot. Good mystery is afoot!

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