Let's see how our luck fares in part six, beginning with:
I wanted to love this, and would have settled for liking it. And for about two thirds of it, I did the latter. By the time the big twists began showing up, though, I'd come to the same conclusion most people seem to have reached when the movie was released earlier this year: that Shyamalan had dropped the ball big-time, and in so doing squandered a good part of the goodwill he earned back with Split.
I'm reluctant to go into details on how and why that is. I guess I kind of have to, though, so if you don't want to know how it all ends, skip to the next movie.
I have not seen Unbreakable in a long while, but as of the last time I did, I thought it was a bit of a masterpiece. I think about most of Shyamalan's first run of hits that way. It all just plain works for me, up to and including the reveal at the end that Mr. Glass has been a villain who orchestrated the train derailment in order to prove to the world that superheroes exist.
One of the big problems with Glass is that the movie seems to suggest that in retrospect, this was an act of good on Elijah's part. Glass ends with some of the subordinate characters releasing footage of the Overseer and the Beast duking it out, and the idea is that their battle proves conclusively that superhumans exist. The events of Glass have been orchestrated by Elijah to lead to this, and he feels, I guess, that this is going to make the world a better place or something. The movie sure does seem to be taking his side on that, and if that's the case, then the movie is saying that when Elijah killed all those people in that train crash in Unbreakable, that's retroactively in service of the greater good.
Nope. I'm out, M. Night. I can't get with that, my man.
I also can't get with the bizarre decision to climax the movie by killing not only Mr. Glass, but both David Dunn and the Horde as well. As a plot development, that simply does not work for me. Not for this particular movie, at least; maybe some other, better version of it might have earned that sort of thing, but this one absolutely does not.
There are probably other things I could complain about, but what's the point? The movie doesn't work, and that's just all there is to it. This fact is mitigated somewhat by the fact that it's relatively well made. The acting is good; I mean, of course it is. But that only helps so much. Samuel L. Jackson is given virtually nothing to do until the movie is about an hour in, which is an odd decision; Bruce Willis is fine, but he's also given relatively little to do; James McAvoy is excellent, but he's playing too many of the same notes he played in Split. Between this and It: Chapter Two (and, I assume, Dark Phoenix, although like the rest of the world I opted not to see that), it's been a rough year for McAvoy-starring sequels.