MOVIE | Rian Johnson’s latest whodunit plays out like an Agatha Christie mystery
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➤ Rated PG-13
➤ S4 / V5 / L5*
Director Rian Johnson has become the new master of whodunit puzzle movies. His Knives Out was the surprise hit of 2019, and Netflix bought the rights to two sequels for $450 million. The first of those sequels, Glass Onion, arrives on the streaming platform just before Christmas.
Daniel Craig returns as the eccentric detective Benoit Blanc—a delightfully absurd combination of Poirot, Columbo, and Colonel Sanders—and Glass Onion is as smart, funny, and surprising as the original Knives Out.
The movie takes place during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Weary of lockdowns, tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his closest friends to a private island for a weekend getaway. Birdie (Kate Hudson) is a fashion icon, Duke (Dave Bautista) is a social-media influencer, Claire (Kathryn Hahn) is the governor of Connecticut, Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.) is a scientist, and Andi (Janelle Monáe) is the estranged co-founder of Bron’s company. And then there’s Benoit Blanc.
Bron has planned a murder mystery game, which might account for Blanc’s presence. But Blanc fears the game might turn into reality, as everyone has a secret reason to want Bron dead.
Glass Onion has a classic Agatha Christie setup: An unlikable host invites a small circle to his manor house, which leaves the detective with a very limited number of suspects. And just like a Christie story, Johnson’s script involves some startling twists.
The ensemble cast is fabulous, and Johnson’s script is clever. But the film has strong language, and some scenes contain sexually suggestive situations and dialogue. One brief moment might also imply Benoit Blanc is gay.
* Ratings from kids-in-mind.com, with quantity of sexual (S), violent (V), and foul-language (L) content on a 0-10 scale, with 10 high.
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