James McAvoy’s Unhinged Performance In Glass Is His Best Yet

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Glass James McAvoy thumbUniversal Pictures/Buena Vista

Glass brings the story of David Dunn, Elijah Price, and the Eastrail 177 Trilogy, to a really f*cking bizarre but entertaining conclusion. 

Set three weeks after the events of Split (and presumably 19 years after Unbreakable) Glass opens with David Dunn (Bruce Willis) tracking down Kevin Wendell Crumb, aka The Beast, (James McAvoy), and the horde of alternate personalities who occupy his body.

Unfortunately for the superpowered duo they’re both quickly apprehended mid-brawl by Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychologist who believes the pair are suffering from delusions of grandeur.

She takes them to Ravenhill Hospital where they’re to be treated alongside another patient suffering from this ‘affliction’, Elijah Price – better known as Mr Glass – the villain who engineered the Eastrail 177 crash and kickstarted this whole franchise.

Universal Pictures/Buena Vista

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I’d had a ‘moment’ writing those three paragraphs – I’ll be honest just writing them gave me a headache – but the first act of Glass is a pretty bloated affair, as characters are moved into position and the ‘dominoes’ set up, so it seems apt.

Thankfully once all the players are in place and the film begins proper I thought it turned out to be a weirdly entertaining romp and a contender for the strangest film of 2019.

And I know we’re only nine days into the new year but it’s a surprisingly long list considering.

The best way I can describe Glass is that it was like watching a magic trick. I thought I knew exactly where it was going when I sat down in my seat, but it soon became clear I had no clue.

Glass goes to some weird places. Some very weird places. Which make for an entertaining if slightly muddled film that’s trying to balance the three larger than life characters at its centre, while introducing something new to the mythos.

Particular praise has to be paid to the movie’s three leads Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy who are all brilliant, but my favourite by a country mile has to be McAvoy.

McAvoy’s performance is so wonderfully unhinged, and he’s so unafraid to take the character to the places he needs to go, it’s magnificent.

How he balances all 24 of Kevin’s personalities I’ll never know, but the individuality he brings to each is staggering.

Obviously, this is an M.Night Shyamalan film so a lot of people will be going into this expecting his trademark twist and they won’t be disappointed, in fact, I’d argue Glass features his most audacious twist ever.

Seriously if anyone tells you they know where this film is going they’re either lying or a genius.

James McAvoy in GlassUniversal Pictures/Buena Vista

On a more, meta-level Glass seems to be M. Night’s commentary on the current state of Hollywood, the recent glut of superhero movies, and the adverse reaction to their popularity.

Mr Glass’ obsession with revealing the ‘supers’ to the world, and Dr Staple’s refusal to acknowledge their place in it, serves as a perfect metaphor for the refusal of The Academy certain critical circles to accept the worthiness of the current crop of superhero films.

Or at least that’s what I thought, but I must confess I’d had a Coca-Cola (it was Pepsi but who cares?) before the screening so this opinion may have been influenced by the copious amount of sugar in my system.

Overall M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass isn’t his best film but it’s a worthy ending to the  Eastrail 177 Trilogy… or is it?

Glass breaks its way into theatres on January 18!

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Tom Percival

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.