Review: The Clumsy Anti-Muskism of Glass Onion
Hating tech billionaires is The Current Thing.
Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is back. The eccentric detective and his endearing, exaggerated Southern accent have a new case to solve in Glass Onion, the sequel to 2019's beloved whodunit Knives Out.
The mystery unfolds in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing Blanc to a private island owned by the tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). Bron is clearly a broad—sometimes very broad—caricature of Elon Musk, and he's not alone: A men's rights YouTuber played by Dave Bautista is channeling Joe Rogan, or perhaps the accused sex trafficker Andrew Tate. A bought-and-paid-for Democratic politician (Kathryn Hahn), a clueless fashion influencer (Kate Hudson), an amoral scientist (Leslie Odom Jr.), and a rival tech mogul (Janelle Monáe) round out the cast of characters/list of suspects.
Writer-director Rian Johnson has once again assembled all the elements of a classic Agatha Christie–style detective story, added modern trappings, and poured glitter all over it. Glass Onion is a bit more straightforward than its predecessor, but there are still plenty of fake-outs, surprise killings, and flashbacks that reveal everything you thought you knew was a lie.
All that said, some viewers won't like this entry as much; its self-indulgent ending falls comparatively flat. And there's no getting around Glass Onion's hectoring progressive agenda: a ceaseless, flashy reminder that hating white male tech billionaires is The Current Thing. The film's politics date it, even more so than the COVID masks the characters wear before arriving at the crime scene.