‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’: Toronto Review | Reviews – Armessa Movie News

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Dir-scr: Rian Johnson. USA. 2022. 139 mins.

There’s a lot riding on the question of whether the Knives Out formula – Daniel Craig’s affably hammy performance as crack detective Benoit Blanc, at least one murder, a veritable shark pit of possible suspects – is repeatable. Or whether the sharp edges of Rian Johnson’s slick writing would be blunted by familiarity. The second instalment in the adventures of “the greatest detective in the world” sees Benoit invited to join a billionaire and his close circle of friends and fellow “disrupters” on a Greek Island to take part in a murder mystery-themed weekend. And while it’s not quite as light on its feet in terms of the plotting, and while several key incidents and character motivations are rather questionable, it’s an immensely enjoyable movie which is at least as funny as the first outing, if not more.

Part of the appeal of Benoit Blanc, played by Craig, is he’s such an unlikely role for an actor better known for a range of steely eyed sociopaths 

This will no doubt come as something of a relief for Netflix, which reportedly invested $400million in a deal for two sequels to the original picture. It remains to be seen how widely, if at all, the film will be released theatrically – it is currently dated to be launched on the platform on December 23. But with its gloriously tacky billionaire-lair set – the glass onion itself is a hideous piece of architecture which looks like the rejected blueprints for a Macao casino – and Kate Hudson having the scene-stealing, cocktail-swilling time of her life, this really is a film which is designed to be watched with a packed and rambunctious audience.

Part of the appeal of Blanc, played by Craig as one part Columbo, three parts gumbo, is the fact that he’s such an unlikely role for an actor better known for a range of steely eyed sociopaths. The effect of seeing Craig loosening his polka dot cravat, cutting loose and having an absolute blast with the film is that it gives permission for everyone else – both fellow cast members and the audience – to do so too. Also great fun is Dave Bautista as a gun fanatic far right podcaster who hawks “rhino horn boner pills” to sad little men through his YouTube channel. And then there’s Edward Norton as the party boy himself, tech wizard Miles, whose genius is so abstract that it seems dangerously close to insanity. Or even just idiocy. But perhaps the standout is Janelle Monáe playing Miles’s icy ex-business partner Cassandra, a woman who has many reasons to want most of the party guests dead or at least slightly maimed.

The formula might owe a considerable debt to the classic, convoluted mysteries of Agatha Christie – the set-up is reminiscent of Death On The Nile, the score is bustling with intrigue – but Johnson sprinkles the film with sly contemporary jokes. Celebrity endorsements are a running theme, with Jared Leto’s alcoholic kombucha and Jeremy Renner’s small batch hot sauce each the basis for recurring gags. And what could be more current than targetting the preposterous indulgences of a billionaire for over two hours of more or less solid mockery. Consider it a form of taxation.

Production company: T-Street

International sales: Netflix

Producers: Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson

Cinematography: Steve Yedlin

Production design: Rick Heinrichs

Editing: Bob Ducsay

Music: Nathan Johnson

Main cast: Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista

 

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