Knives Out franchise releases new sequel


Joe Earl, Reporter

Upon Knives Out’s 2019 release, critics acclaimed the all-star cast and writer/director Rian Johnson’s direction throughout the film. The people, critics included, wanted more. Unfortunately, Johnson crafted Knives Out’s story for a single film, and the task of creating a new story with the same set of characters seemed virtually impossible.

Enter Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, which features a completely different story, setting and cast (apart from Daniel Craig, who portrays Benoit Blanc). The film kicks off with the characters receiving over-the-top invitations from billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) to participate in a murder mystery game on his private island, featuring his prized glass onion, a multi-story glass building. Ironically, the fully transparent building holds many secrets shown throughout the film. 

The entertaining cast of characters also includes Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), a fashion model; Peg (Jessica Henwick), Birdie’s assistant; Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), Miles’s ex lover; Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), a state governor; and Whiskey (Madeline Cline), who accompanies her boyfriend Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), a twitch streamer. Rian Johnson takes on the role of both writing and directing the film, which helps both reduce plot holes and maintain the direction of the film throughout the full two hours. 

Although the characters may seem simple at face value, they represent modern people and influencer culture incredibly well, creating entertaining, satirical and engaging conversations. Birdie Jay, a “canceled” fashion icon, shines throughout the film, delivering some funny, ignorant one liners, complemented by Hudson’s quality in front of a camera. In terms of Blanc, his role throughout the film, although similar to Knives Out, feels more lighthearted. Despite mostly playing serious roles during his career, Craig flourishes as Blanc in comedic situations, making him feel more like a real person in comparison to his somewhat flat, stereotypical character in Knives Out. 

The variety of the cast of characters not only entertains the audience but fits into the story perfectly. Possible motives are often intertwined with the comedic conversations aforementioned, serving two purposes in the film. Despite knowing the twists in the film, a rewatch allows the viewer to appreciate the cherry picked word usage, and the subtle actions performed on screen that contribute to the conclusion of the film. When the film returns to scenes in Blanc’s final conclusion, they are the same exact shots as prior in the film, so hypothetically the viewer did have everything to piece together the mystery, but the multiple complications and changes in the story make this virtually impossible. 

Glass Onion justifies a follow up on Knives Out, a story that did not warrant a sequel. Glass Onion outdoes Knives Out in terms of character development and fitting the genre of a mystery/comedy but does not reach the high’s of Knives Out’s final conclusion and twists in general. Glass Onion is rated PG-13 and an official Netflix produced film. 

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, has been streaming on Netflix since December 23, 2022.