Before the MCU, even before the Incredibles the Writer/Director of the Sixth Sense brought the idea of Superheroes existing in the real world into our minds. With a 16-year break between Unbreakable and Split being released does the latest film from the screenwriter of Stuart Little (it’s true, look it up) released just one year on live up to the original.
If you haven’t seen the original Unbreakable it is pretty much required reading for seeing Glass, meanwhile Split is more extra credit reading but you can skip ahead. If you haven’t seen M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable from 2000 then we can wait, otherwise expect some level of spoilers as we get you up to speed.
In the original film, David Dunn/Bruce Willis is a regular stadium security guard from Philadelphia who survives a horrific train derailment killing hundreds of people with David being the sole survivor without a scratch on him. This leads to him being approached by the ultra-fragile rare comic art collector Elijah Price/Samuel L Jackson who believes David is a modern occurrence of a Superhero with Comics being a continuation of how secret histories are told.
Through some reluctant pushing by Elijah (whose condition leaves him bones as brittle as Glass earning him the name Mr Glass), David eventually learns and comes to accept his powers of invulnerability and weakness to water. This comes as Mr Glass is revealed to have caused the train crash along with many others to ‘find’ his polar opposite as he is the ultimate villain of the story.
Leaving Unbreakable and jumping forward 15 years later to Split sees James McAvoy as the split personality serial abductor and killer, known as the Horde. Driven to punish those who have not known pain due to his own trauma McAvoy/Kevin Wendle Crumb has 19 different personalities including the superhuman ‘Beast’ who possesses super strength and the ability to climb walls. At the end of Split the twist reveal is the appearance of David Dunn from Unbreakable showing that they occur in the same shared universe with it initially set up as more of a psychological kidnap thriller type film.
Which brings us up to Glass set just after Split with David Dunn having made a life with a security company by day and being known as the vigilante The Overseer by night. It is this jumping on point where Dunn is pursuing the Horde when things start to get interesting.
While the third movie in the trilogy or origin story Glass feels like a direct follow on from the first film with the focus being on the psychological elements of Dunn/Price/Crumb with psychologist Dr. Ellie Staple, a specialist in the type of disorder that makes people think they are superheroes/supervillains, given a short window of time to assess them after capture.
Much like the original film the core story and script is what makes the movie with the use of ‘Superpowers’ being more teased out even with some early superheroic acts being shown with David and the Beast having a first act fight. What you can expect is a lot more of the title character Mr Glass showing why he is definitely a supervillain than what was alluded to in the first movie.
Aiming for an older audience than your typical Marvel movie, if you just wanted more Unbreakable or Split drew you into this world there is plenty to serve both fan bases.
So should you go see it? If Unbreakable is one of your favourite films then this is an absolute no brainer. More of an Unbreakable Sequel with Split being a spin-off than a trilogy with the first movie being the first step into a larger world. While the MCU is still king of bringing Superheroes to the big screen Glass definitely wins for making it feel like they are part of the real world.
Glass is in Cinemas across Australia from January 17th