RogerBW's Blog

Glass Onion (2022) 15 August 2023

2022 whodunnit, dir. Rian Johnson, Daniel Craig, Janelle Monáe: IMDb / allmovie. The tech billionaire hosts a murder mystery party on his private island. It doesn't go well.

The first film did a fine job of being a technical murder mystery with significant character; this one is less impressive in that regard but more fun, as it parodies billionaires and influencers, and if you're going to punch, you might as well punch people who have lots of money and power. (And it turned out to be timely in pointing out the cult of the self-declared genius billionaire.)

The multi-stage puzzle box was a big part of the trailers, and the scenes of its solution are enjoyable… but I think it's used best when we see the way someone else solved it later, in a brief shot that tells us a great deal about that person. Once more Rian Johnson makes things serve multiple purposes, and it's lovely to see this effective economy. (Though the overall plot is one that I've read plenty of times in mystery stories, gur zheqrere frggvat guvatf hc gb ybbx nf gubhtu gurl'er gur vagraqrq ivpgvz, a very slight disappointment after the actual innovation in the first film.)

Daniel Craig is out from under the shadow of James Bond and having even more fun than last time. Janelle Monáe is on another level, though, with a performance that makes sense both before and after you find out the character's motivation at the time; she's just more real than everyone else there.

I talk about this film further on Ribbon of Memes.

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