Shyamalan's 'Glass' is Engaging Almost Until the End

I don’t think anyone will deny that M. Night Shyamalan is a great storyteller. He initially proved that with the release of The Sixth Sense. The symbolism of the color red, the odd scenes that made very little sense until the end of the movie and of course, the amazing twist that nobody saw coming. That incredible twist has almost been the director’s undoing. Since 1999, not one of his other movie’s endings have had the same impact, but he continues to try.

In 2000, Mr. Shyamalan hoped that lightening would strike twice with Unbreakable which also starred Bruce Willis. Like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable was a mystery only this time, the story featured the lone survivor of a train crash who left the accident without a scratch on him and an incredibly fragile, wheelchair-bound, comic book enthusiast which appeared to be the polar opposite. The story was intriguing, but basically fell apart near the end when the twist was revealed. Now almost 19 years later, the same thing ha…

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ – It All Leads to This?

Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Drax (Dave Bautista), Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff)
in Avengers: Infinity War (Marvel Studios) 


This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Marvel Studios who have been saying since the release of Iron Man in 2008, that every film that came after it would lead up to Infinity War. As the movies progressed and new superheros were introduced, I was concerned that there would be too many of them to keep track of and that the quality of the storytelling would go downhill. But to my surprise, the Marvel found a way to give each character their own screen time allowing them to shine. Granted, not every Marvel movie has been a home run, but Marvel has been able to do what DC Comic movies have not consistently. So I am sad to say that I was disappointed with Avengers: Infinity War.

Drax (Dave Bautista), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Star Lord (Chris Pratt)
and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) (Marvel Studios)
Despite all the accolades others have been giving the film, I was underwhelmed by the Infinity War. I was expecting something amazing but what I got was a film with a lot of talking and lot less action than usual. Instead of focusing on heroes, this film (seemed) to focus more on the villain and his dysfunctional family life. Action took a backseat to exposition. Most of the characters that I wanted to see are in the film, but most of them appear slightly more than cameo role. There is a great scene near the beginning featuring Tony Stark and Pepper Potts, but she doesn’t appear in the rest of the movie. Black Widow has about three lines of dialogue. Spider-Man’s new suit gets more attention than he does. Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Solider is now aka the White Wolf for some reason. And so on.

Marvel’s Studios 19th film picks up shortly after Captain America: Civil War, which most fans consider to be another Avengers film although it was never labeled as such. Though healing and forgiveness has taken place between the heroes, some of them still feel a little bruised since the aftermath. But they come together again, some for the first time, to battle Thanos (Josh Brolin) who aims of retrieving all the six Infinity Stones so that he can rule the world not to mention the universe. You may remember that Thanos is the “step father” of Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan) from the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. He sends his minions to earth to retrieve the remaining stones and it becomes pretty clear that all hands are needed on deck.

The big bad Thanos (Josh Brolin) (Marvel Studios)
Marvel says of the movie that it is the “ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time” and it is. Which is rather surprising for a Marvel movie. The result is a lot less humor and even some heartbreaking scenes. The overall tone is a lot more somber than we are used to. True fans will love the movie as is, but casual fans might get bogged down by how drawn-out some scenes are. While it doesn’t say so in the title, this is actually a “part one” story that could have been cut down significantly. The movie slows to a crawl at some points focusing on things that we don’t care about but rushing through other things that we do. And if you are hoping for solid ending, you’ll be disappointed. The only thing missing are the words, “to be continued…”

The new Avengers movie does make some time near the beginning to show off some comedy. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meets Star Lord (Chris Pratt) and the two go back and forth sizing each other up like a couple of dumb jocks thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to. Another battle of egos ensues when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) meets Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The four of them should get their own buddy road trip film.

Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and White Wolf (Sebastian Stan)
(Marvel Stuidos)
Other notable scenes include a cowering Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) unable to get his Hulk on and Peter Dinklage playing Eitri, a giant. All the rest of the co-stars are sorely underused in my opinion including a mopey Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) who apparently isn’t going by the title of Captain America anymore, Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson), Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and believe it or not, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).

Overall, the film has a darker tone, but if your kids can handle the other Marvel movies, this shouldn't induce nightmares. However, parents would be wise to discuss with their children ahead of time that the movie ends on a cliffhanger and the part two should have the triumphant ending we all want.

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