The disloyalty goes on to the comics’ golden age as well, that time when Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, Flash, Green Lantern, and others came around. Each of these heroes are still instantly recognizable now because they’re all more sympathetic than the returning Samuel L. Jackson role, Elijah. Here is shown a flashback of his mom watching him get hurt on a carnival ride as a child, yet any internal pain of his remains intangible. Even if he along with the two other freaks are believed to be superheroes, actual comic books have better-analyzed heroic theories. At this rate, I’d rather see Samuel L. Jackson hop off the wheelchair to start preaching Ezekiel 25:17 again, and not have to keep wearing that obvious wig for a now-dated story arc.
Onto the silver age, comic books began to be seen as corruptive to the youth, thus the Comics Code Authority began, which caused an eventual bright, campy tone to take over; think Adam West’s Batman as a strong example. Shyamalan actually handles that well without feeling out of place alongside the established golden age grit. Remember how Batman & Robin was almost all Dutch angles? A similar style is used here to suggest how Elijah reads his interactions, or how a hysterical perspective of “the Beast’s” victims is seen upside down when he crawls on the ceiling. To switch back on cheesiness without the unintentional (or failed) humor, dangerously deep focus on closeup shots block out distractions, working off a pink hallway designed by Chris Trujillo (Stranger Things) to mimic a supervillain’s lair. It’s like every frame here is a legit comic book panel!
It compensates for the way Sarah Paulson (12 Years a Slave, Carol) keeps an insincere face throughout her entire performance, even more so for Anya Taylor-Joy’s (Thoroughbreds, The Witch) absent sense of rhythm in her expressionless eyes that look like Natalie Portman sobbing, “Anakin, you’re breaking my heart.” Yet the almost completely untalented cast ironically works to the advantage of James McAvoy when his killer portrayal shatters barriers immediately upon introduction.
An odd sense of fulfillment breaks through as the three leads fit nowhere, much like how the bronze age lead to comics taking on a realistic tone. Plenty of disturbing images shed mortality to familiar comic book images, particularly a line of high school cheerleaders chained up, all of which are enhanced by the musical score’s stressed strings—a ticking bomb that signals time to break for impact.
Then finally comes the dark age of comics, when antiheroes, particularly Watchmen and Deadpool, got their origins. Shyamalan’s three antiheroes could make a valid case for criminal actions… if consistency exists anywhere. Probably the most noticeable logical inconsistency is how bright lights change James’ character personalities, but it really gets out of hand throughout the ridiculous third act. It attempts to comment on the climaxes of other comic book movies, except this happens after the entire feature proves unable to decide which scenes are fiction or fact.
Thus, the audience appeal winds up weak, mainly to the fault of M. Night Shyamalan’s screenplay preaching the old comic book idea that love heals (ugh). He cannot authenticate the full potential of such a gross idea in any way, and even takes the wrong turns to explore it; one of those approaches includes a legitimate case of Stockholm syndrome!
So today, with all our comics becoming strong cinematic/television properties, it tells our minds to honor having super abilities greater than our own God-given abilities. It tells us that anyone considered a freak is a psycho with a mind set to rule the world. Shyamalan’s commentary is dead-wrong.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Glass. Powster. Web. <https://www.glassmovie.com/>.
Kowalski, Jesse. “Comics: Comic Books.” Illustration History. Norman Rockwell Museum, Web. <https://www.illustrationhistory.org/genres/comics-comic-books>.
Kreps, Daniel. “‘Glass’: Watch Gripping First Trailer for M. Night Shyamalan’s Superhero Thriller.” Digital image. Rolling Stone. WordPress, 20 July 2018. Web. <https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-news/glass-watch-gripping-first-trailer-for-m-night-shyamalans-superhero-thriller-702269/>.