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GLASS’s First Reactions Might Shatter Your Expectations

After a series of disappointing releases, 2016’s Split was a return to form for M. Night Shyamalan. That alone would have been exciting enough for movie lovers, but then the film’s final scene showed Bruce Willis’s David Dunn. The revelation that the film was a secret sequel to the 2000 hit Unbreakable was something fans had longed hoped for. The next film in the surprise franchise won’t catch anyone off guard though. This month will finally pay off the director’s long promise that his unlikely superhero story was always meant to be a trilogy, when Glass comes to theaters on January 18th. But will the movie be a reflection of Shyamalan’s best work, or will our high hopes be shattered? Based on the first reactions that hit the internet today, we might not like what we see.

Critics on Twitter weren’t very kind to the film overall, even if they did like the first half of the movie and some performances.

A look at some of the first reviews help explain what many think went wrong.

Brandon Katz at the Observer said the movie starts off well, but gets in its own way in the second half.

“But sadly, Glass drags in its messy third act, which is bogged down by multiple tenuous connections and needless surprises that just feel tacked on for the hell of it. The overarching and opposing plans of certain main characters, the ultimate fates of others and the bare-bones plot are all used as cannon fodder in an attempt to shock and awe, when all they really do is bore and disappoint. It’s great that Glass strives for deeper meaning. However, by throwing so much at the audience so quickly, it unravels its own goal.”

Vox‘s Allison Wilkinson thinks the movie might even harm the legacy of the first two films in the trilogy.

“For Glass to work, it had to combine the frenetic energy of Split and the calm pacing of Unbreakable, weaving together Price’s theories about comic book stories, Dunn’s heroics, and Crumb’s unpredictability into one high-stakes tightrope.

Instead, it’s frayed and sagging. Price’s adulations of comic tropes no longer feel exciting and intriguing, but faintly ridiculous, as if they were scripted by someone who’s only read a few comic books and is pretty sure they know what they’re about. At one key moment, Price shouts, “Ah, the classic turn!” Another character, one who ostensibly reads comics, has to have the concept of a “showdown” explained as a scene where the bad guys fight the good guys.”

Chris Evangelista at SlashFilm is sorry to say the movie is “terrible.”

“The long-awaited Unbreakable sequel that brings back characters from Shyamalan’s masterpiece, and blends them with the characters from his most recent hit. This is an interesting idea, and all the pieces were in place for Shyamalan to finally solidify his comeback once and for all. To prove all the detractors wrong and reclaim the effusive praise that found him early in his career. But that’s not what happens here. Instead, Glass shatters under the weight of Shyamalan’s ambition. It’s a messy, muddled, often downright stupid movie. It broke my heart.”

And since we know some Shyamalan fans will think these are critics out to get an unfairly maligned director, Evangelista also shared this.

He wasn’t the only one rooting for the film to feel let down.

Eric Francisco at Inverse had sky-high expectations, but didn’t enjoy the film either, especially in comparison to the original film.

“Unbreakable was, and remains, great because it was a cerebral, atmospheric thriller with the mask of a superhero. Glass is the other way around, a watered down superhero movie pretending to be something deeper, and it consequently zaps away the mystique that once empowered this series.”

Not everyone hated it though.

Ian Sandwell at DigitalSpy said he really “dug it,” in part because Shyamalan stuck to what worked before.

“One of the smartest things that Shyamalan has done with Glass is to not go all blockbuster on us. There are crunching fight scenes, but the movie is more interested in big ideas than massive set pieces. In keeping with the tone of Unbreakable and Split, Glass is a dark psychological thriller and, as promised, its superhero leanings are grounded in real life and interrogating whether they can actually exist.”

And he’s not entirely alone in liking it.

On the whole, were these the reviews we were hoping for? No, but maybe that will help us be surprised by how much we end up liking it. That’s a twist we’d like to see.

Images: Universal Pictures

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