‘Glass Onion’ review: ‘Knives Out’ sequel is sharper than ever

Benoit Blanc is back, and boy are we glad to see him. 

It’s been three years since Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’ first graced streaming platforms back in 2019. Since then, viewers have been obsessed with Daniel Craig’s drawling detective — and rightfully so. Debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival, Johnson’s murder mystery was quick to receive widespread critical acclaim. ‘Glass Onion’, then, certainly had some large shoes to fill. But it fills those shoes well. Lighter than its predecessor, but still retaining its satirical bite, Ryan Johnson’s latest whodunnit does not fail to disappoint. 

Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton) island is the setting for Johnson’s recent romp. Stuck with eccentric celebrities, from gormless influencer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) to worn-out politican Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) — Blanc must solve yet another murder mystery. Only this time, it’s ‘twistier’ than ever. With enough shifts in plot to make your head spin, Johnson’s sequel packs the intrigue of its processor, whilst adding some additional jokes along the way.

It’s arguably more absurd and far-fetched than it’s predecessor, but the narrative is still very much rooted in reality. Set during the Covid pandemic, ‘Glass Onion’ is one of few film productions that actually manages to capture the woes of lockdown in a non-cringé, relatable way. It’s also set on a much larger scale than the original, which packs additional excitement into the narrative. With world leader’s careers teetering on the edge and reputations on the brink of collapse – Blanc is the one that must bring them all together, to solve the latest mystery. 

Craig, once again, fills Blanc’s shoes perfectly. How I’ve missed Craig’s ropey rendition of a Southern drawl. In fact, he even admitted in interviews that he often forgets the accent altogether. Quite frankly, we can tell Daniel. But it doesn’t matter in the slightest. In fact, it’s all part of the charm. Coupled with witty one-liners, and delicious character interactions, viewers are constantly reminded as to why we fell in love with him in the first place. 

Joining the cast for the sequel we have WandaVision-star Kathryn Hahn, BAFTA-nominated actress Kate Hudson, Hidden Figures’s Janelle Robinson and much more. Characteristic of her previous roles, Hahn once again perfects the delicate balance between humour and dramatic punch in her recent role as Claire. Similarly, Robinson retains the film’s razor-sharp edge, by adding intrigue to her character Helen, keeping audiences on their toes till the climax. Hudson’s Birdie Jay is equally as delightful — presenting a clueless influencer, constantly making blunders, and getting herself ‘cancelled’ by a large Twitter following. As such, ‘Glass Onion’ maintains the clear-cut characterisation of its predecessor, with yet another cast of deliciously-crafted characters. 

‘Glass Onion’ is a raucously funny romp, that maintains the sharp social satire of the original, whilst adding additional flare. Although it may not pack quite the same subtleties of the original, the sequel continues to be authentic. Adding absurdities, but not at the expense of realism, ‘Glass Onion’ is an up-scaled Knives Out mystery that does not disappoint. 

Featured image: cottonbro studio on pexels.

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