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The Hollywood Insider Glass Onion A Knives Out Mystery Review

Photo: ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’

Rian’s Universe

Rian Johnson has now released the second of his Knives Out universe films this week and it is full of excitement. The first one in the series, ‘Knives Out,’ had a great box office of $312.9 million dollars. This is a fantastic feat considering the movie was released right before the pandemic ravaged the industry and was made for only about $40 million. 

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Given the success of the film, there was no doubt in my mind that he would get greenlit for another. ‘Knives Out’ was a fun and unique take on classic murder mysteries. The entire time all I could think about were the similarities between the game Clue and the film’s plot twists. Murder mystery always relies on the use of the shadows and figures that walk within them and the work with shadows is great here.  

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is a very fun journey through these shadows created by Rian Johnson. He made a mystery inside another mystery. The film unwraps just like an onion, layer after layer until it exposes the truth through exposition. It is like the Matryoshka dolls that stack inside one another or even a friend pranking you on Christmas with a box inside a box and so on.

‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ – Benoit Blanc

The movie has a stellar cast with Daniel Craig reprising his role as the world’s best gay detective Benoit Blanc. He is a world-famous detective in his universe which can be compared to that of  Sherlock Holmes in his respective realm. Benoit has a dashing sense of style and a keen observational sense while in any environment. 

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Benoit begins the film feeling the urge to solve a case. He suddenly gets a knock on the door from a colleague telling him that his destiny has arrived. Apparently, there is a very powerful tech billionaire by the name of Miles Bron (Edward Norton) that is throwing a Murder Mystery party for his friends. The bash is on an island owned by the tech tycoon himself. Benoit happened to be invited and meets the rest of the ensemble cast on a dock to board the vessel to the island. 

This is where we get to know the rest of the characters within the film. Cassandra Brand is played by Jannelle Monae. She is being shunned by the rest of the group, but there are good reasons. Kathryn Hanh plays Claire Debella, who is a politician running for a senate office position. She seems to be constantly watching out for her position as most politicians do. Usually, she is in a comedic role and she shifts here which is always lovely to see her do.

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Kate Hudson is Birdie Jay, who is a fashion designer with some secrets. She is carefree and seems like she knows how to have a good amount of fun. Her assistant, Peg (Jessica Henwick), is her friend but relies on Birdie for her own success. Leslie Odom Jr. is Lionel Toussaint, and is one of the main scientists behind Miles’ empire and new fuel idea. 

Duke Cody is played by Dave Bautista. Duke is a Twitch streaming personality that has a huge following and channel presence. Madelyn Cline plays Whiskey, who is Duke’s lady and personal assistant. Duke supplies her with the ability to build her own brand so how can she refuse? This is just how streamers work, they help each other gain popularity amongst the viewer base.

 Arrival

This wildly enthusiastic bunch board the boat to the island and sail. As they approach the island and get to shore, Miles meets them all with open arms. Well, that is everyone except for Benoit. He glances at him as if he doesn’t belong. But these feelings are soon solved, and things begin to take shape as they have their first few conversations.  

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Miles kicks off the festivities by explaining how the place works, and what the weekend will entail. He has a murder mystery planned, however, with no real prize. It seems like he has really thought out the whole weekend so far. As they sit down to their first dinner, things take a sharp turn.  

We suddenly get the surprise of a mystery upon another mystery. This is where the audience gets thrown into a flux of shadow and confusion. As Benoit solves the first part of this mystery, it unravels the others like a ball of yarn falling from a skyscraper. Imagine the plot as a domino hitting another domino; Benoit causes a chain reaction of events that can not be stopped. 

Soon enough we learn just how all these people know each other. They were close friends for years, ever since visiting the Glass Onion bar. Therefore, Miles built the Onion on the island as a metaphor. Most likely to remind himself of those days when everything was a little simpler. The group seems close, but are these connections based in love or fear? 

Comedy and Power

The story has miraculous twists and turns just as if you are attending a murder mystery party in the Hollywood Hills. This standalone film in the Knives Out universe has humor at every turn. The actors seem to play with their characters and have fun with them. The group of friends displays power struggles that actually do exist within the powerful elite in the world.

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Miles reminds me of Elon Musk. Spending money to do some of the most ridiculous things, like launching a Tesla into space. The true colors of the characters eventually all step out of the shadows, which gives Benoit the upper hand in solving the murder. 

Miles is not the only one with some tricks up his sleeve, as Benoit solves the case with the help of a colleague. Rian picked the name of the film because he wanted it to resemble something hidden in plain sight. An onion has layers that are stacked upon each other just like the plot itself. He chose Glass Onion after a Beatles song which does play at the end of the film.  

Rian Johnson has now made two fantastic mystery films in his own developed Knives Out universe. The foreshadowing is easy to spot, but there is plenty of misdirection in order to keep you entertained. ‘Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery’ is in select theaters until December 23 when it will be released on Netflix. This has already been Netflix’s biggest theatrical release ($15 mil) even while only in select theaters.

Writer/Director – Rian Johnson 

Producers – Rian Johnson, Ram Bergman 

Mentioned Cast – Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kathryn Hanh, Leslie Odom Jr., 

Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline 

By Nathan Paul Pasquale 

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.

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Author

  • Nathan is a passionate filmmaker that graduated from Columbia College with his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He is an enigmatic storyteller and development catalyst for making content that matters. He sent out to help make this world a better place through the avenue of film and television. His path aligns with all those that are trying to make content that contains substance for our human race. This aligns with The Hollywood Insider and its mission statement to stay away from gossip and write about the things that matter. He will always create Cinema and television that might be able to cause people to change and heal the world one snap of the slate at a time.

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