**Spoilers for Glass Onion ahead
Let me start off by saying this:
I enjoyed watching Rian Johnson’s new flick Glass Onion.
Does that make me a dummy?
If you also thoroughly enjoyed Glass Onion, are you too a dummy?
The emphasis in those statements is the word ‘enjoyed’.
See, I thought Glass Onion was a thoroughly entertaining movie – there’s a lot of fun to be had with the characters throughout and the story kept me engaged.
But after watching it last night and kind of sitting on it and digesting, do I think it was a good movie overall?
And that’s because it’s a movie made for dummies.
Let me explain.
Johnson uses the ‘glass onion’ metaphor throughout the story – a seemingly intricate thing with many layers, but with a very clear center that’s apparent the whole time.
And it rang true. While the audience over-analyzed the mystery looking for some deep secret that could solve – in the end, the answer was not so clever.
It was transparent all along.
Detective Benoit Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, goes on a little rant at the end about how Miles Bron, the eventual culprit played by Edward Norton, is an idiot.
And this ladies and gentleman, is the explanation of the crime – Miles Bron is dumb.
But Noah… that’s the point? That’s the metaphor? That was intentional.
Yes. But that doesn’t make it clever.
See, this is now the second piece of media this year I consumed where the resolution of the story is that the story was intentionally dumb.
It happened in the She-Hulk finale as well, when She-Hulk does a 4th Wall break (literally?) to go and find the writer of her story, a robot named K.E.V.I.N. – who makes clear that the story we were told throughout the series was intentionally bad… because that’s the point?
My issue with that finale, which I now share with Glass Onion, is that this isn’t clever writing – it’s just lazy.
But chronically online people will tell you that this is a great twist.
That it’s a reasonable resolution to the mystery.
That Glass Onion was a great movie.
And on the surface, it seems good.
But if you think about it just a little bit deeper, it’s not.
And that’s my issue with the movie.
Johnson presents us with a mystery that we cannot particularly solve, only to reveal key details that we were missing in the middle to sway us in one direction, only to make the big reveal at the end that what we assumed in the beginning was ultimately true – because the culprit is stupid.
And this is Johnson’s bread-and-butter: subverting expectations for the sake of… simply subverting expectations.
Most famously/infamously he did it with Star Wars.
The Last Jedi is without question the most divisive movie in the Star Wars franchise.
Personally I think it it a massive pile of shit, with a couple of sparkles thrown in to make it seem like less shit.
But all-in-all, the movie is about:
“Oh you think you know Star Wars? Well you don’t.”
Lore is thrown out the window. Luke’s character is drastically altered. The Force is what Johnson says it is.
And people call it brilliant.
But again, treating the audience like idiots doesn’t make it a good movie.
It makes it enjoyable for idiots – but for the people that think about it a bit deeper, it’s just plain dumb.
I had somewhat of a similar reaction to Knives Out.
Overall, I liked Knives Out a lot more than Glass Onion – and I think the story was a lot more grounded.
But people were reacting to it like it was a masterpiece – one of the greatest mysteries of all time.
And while I once again thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I didn’t feel like the mystery of it all was that great.
Like very early on, I kind of figured out that Chris Evans was probably the bad guy – and I was right.
So once again we have a situation where the cleverness of it all, is just simply not-so-clever.
I think what Knives Out benefitted from is that Johnson worked on that script over several years, which shows.
Glass Onion was very clearly to me a studio-pushed project with a script that was obviously not-so-tight, with glaring plot holes and a resolution of ‘the culprit is dumb, and so are you!’.
And Johnson gets away with it – because audiences these days are so blinded by being entertained, that they don’t realize that they’re being treated like dummies.