Famed detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece, where tech billionaire Miles Bron has invited his friends for a getaway on his private island, but Blanc soon finds himself in the midst of another murder mystery he must solve.
After turning one of the most beloved films of the last few years into a whodunit franchise, Rian Johnson has delivered the rare movie that not only surpasses the original but elevates it and its entire genre. He also proves himself as a modern auteur, completely in control of his creative field and having built credibility and excitement based on his name alone. After reinventing the wheel when it comes to murder mysteries with Knives Out, he decides to reinvent the reinvention, with plot twists and dramatic irony where you’d least expect it — all without becoming unbelievable, overwhelming, or twisty for the sake of it. But credit must also be awarded to Daniel Craig, who, over these two films, has created a new fan favorite character who’s an absolute joy to have on screen, whether he’s actively solving the mystery or simply commenting on the absurdities he observes throughout the film. Speaking of which, is it possible to assemble an ensemble cast as talented and hysterical as in the first film? Well, the cast here rivals that in the original film and every performance is effortless. Janelle Monae proves herself a superstar in a performance too good to spoil, not to mention an extravagant performance from Kate Hudson as a celebrity model/influencer. Edward Norton does a great job as Bron, who’s a spoof of the eccentric billionaires we see today who can’t seem to stop feeding their egos and wallets such as Zuckerberg and Musk. But there really isn’t a weak link in the cast, whether it be Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, or Dave Bautista (the latter of which is absolutely perfect as a parody of today’s “alpha male” YouTubers such as Andrew Tate).
The movie’s themes about the oddities and shadiness of the top 1% and the toxic effects of wealth networks are anything but subtle, but Rian Johnson lets us laugh at some of the characters and the parallels to today’s pop culture, creating commentary that’s as strong as in the last film, but never annoying and best of all, entertaining to reflect on. The humor comes at you from all cast members and angles, whether it be visual, lines, or moments of performance that will make you laugh out loud. The scale expands from a winter-absorbed mansion in the last movie to a gorgeous luxurious island worth billions, while Nathan Johnson’s score is commanding and memorable. Best of all, the mystery keeps you guessing, feeding you information in the order you’d never expect and not letting go of your attention throughout the entire exuberant ride. Rian Johnson’s made a mystery as grand as it is goofy, as spectacular as it as silly, and as nail-bitingly intense as it is even more stylistically satisfying than the first film. Movies like Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery are what sequels and the cinematic experience are just right for, especially when the mystery has evolved into a meta high-stakes extravaganza, the cast is at the top of their game, and only a director like this one could’ve done it so right — who will likely shock and please us many more times again.