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‘Glass Onion’ sharpens the ‘Knives Out’ formula in polished Netflix sequel



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Rising to the challenge of matching its successful predecessor, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” maintains a razor-sharp formula with a setup that plays like an Agatha Christie homage before an insanely clever series of twist kicks. Feels even more special. Writer-director Rian Johnson again assembles a solid cast behind Daniel Craig, but it’s his use of language – where a word is wasted – that ultimately gives the sequel its edge.

Netflix opportunistically moved to acquire the “Knives Out” franchise and, in a departure from its usual “stroke the filmmakers’ egos” approach to theatrical distribution, actually released the film for only a week before hitting the streaming service. Will give a wide release. At the end of December. Most people will probably still wait to consume it from the comfort of their homes, but for those who do take the plunge, it certainly plays well with an appreciative audience.

After the family dynamics in “Knives Out” gave everyone a motive to kill the patriarch, Johnson tries his hand at a different setting, with Miles Braun (Edward Norton), an eccentric billionaire, and his old crew of friends. invites to murder-mystery getaway (during Covid, no less) to their secluded Greek island, where they’ll be tasked with solving her “murder”.

The game, however, takes an unexpected turn, starting with Craig’s invitation to master detective Benoit Blanc, who remains brilliant and odd in almost equal measure.

As for an eclectic roster of guests/potential killers (and/or victims), they include a fashion designer/social-media loose cannon (Kate Hudson) and her partner (Jessica Henwick), a fitness influencer (Dave Bautista) and his girlfriend . / sidekick (Madeline Kline), a scientist (Leslie Odom Jr.), a politician (Kathryn Hahn), and most intriguingly, Miles’ former business partner (Janelle Monae).

Although the latest film clearly lacks the spirit of discovery that greeted the original — and even turned Chris Evans’ sweaters into a must-have item (Chris Evans not included), Johnson was quick to recognize that Smart enough that it’s about reloading, not reinvention, a change of locations can still freshen up the formula.

Craig, moreover, is clearly having a ball with this new signature role, trading in his tuxedos and physicality for a more cerebral form of crime, with eavesdropping and foghorn leghorns for a Hercule Poirot-like gift. Southern twang.

In one of them “Kneel before Zod!” Flex, Netflix reportedly paid a fortune to acquire these sequels, which is clearly just the kind of deal that threatens to take a fun little movie and screw it up by creating unreasonable expectations. .

Happily, the “Glass Onion” finds new layers to explore, thus making the prospect of a new “Knife Out Mystery” every few years seem like a perfectly reasonable idea, wherever and however someone. chooses to consume it.

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” premieres in US theaters on November 23 and on Netflix on December 23. It is rated PG-13.

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