Glass Onion: The Secret That Gets Knives Out Is Light, Airy Capers

Ssometimes you don’t want a formal meal; you just want a great range of nibbles with flavors and tastes that are a little ordinary and fun. Writer-director Rian Johnson’s The Glass Onion: The Secret That Opens Knives that plate in movie form is a breezy caper that retains its freshness even if it stumbles a bit in the final third. Basically, the picture feels both plush and light: It’s a continuation of the clearly tasteful 2019 Knives Out Daniel Craig once again stars as bourbon-smooth crime-solver Benoit Blanc, only this time he’s invited to a glamorous Greek island by arrogant media mogul Miles Bronn, played by Edward Norton. Bron’s plan is to stage a murder for his circle of eccentric friends to solve. The victim? Himself.

Anyway, here’s Johnson’s initial start. until the end glass onion, the story is told with so many twists and turns that you can hardly remember how it started. Basically, it’s an assembly of cartoonishly colorful characters, each delightfully insecure in some way: Kate Hudson is a bumbling model and fashion entrepreneur Birdie Jay, always in trouble for her witty expressions (like, to go on). Oprah and compares herself to Harriet Tubman). Kathryn Hahn is Claire Debella, a feisty, erratic straight shooter who somehow works her way up to the governorship of Connecticut. Leslie Odom Jr. Lionel Toussaint is an ambitious scientist who works for Miles but has doubts about his motives. Dave Bautista, on the other hand, dreams of being influential on social media and is a hard worker for the brainy Duke Cody, who appears with his girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline) and his brainy baby.

Edward Norton as tech billionaire Miles Bronn

Courtesy of Netflix

Read more: Within its creation Knives OutOne of the Year’s Most Unexpectedly Subversive Movies

Except for Blan, all of these invited guests are old friends of Bro’s, friends from the old days at a cozy bar called the Glass Onion, now defunct. Bron clings to the memory of those days – which is why he built this luxurious Greek estate topped with a crystal dome in the shape of the beloved Allium. But while he calls his old friends “disruptors,” people he admires for supposedly breaking the rules and upsetting the status quo, he’s the richest of them all, and the only one who’s truly successful. Here’s where the most enigmatic figure in all this confusion emerges: Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe, always amazing to watch) is Bron’s old business partner, though she fired him from the operation not too long ago, leaving him penniless. Yet here she is showing off her weekend getaway, the best of them all in willow pantsuits and ethereal goddess gowns. The rest of the group is stunned when he arrives. What is he doing there? Even Bron, who invited him, is surprised to see him.

Jessica Henwick, Kate Hudson and Janelle Monáe

John Wilson/Netflix

Meanwhile, Blanc, decked out in elegant southern linens and bold silk necklaces, surveys the cast with her characteristic cold gaze. At first, he pretends he doesn’t know what Bron’s intentions might be, with Foghorn speculating in Leghorn’s delightful piece. Then you realize he knows exactly what’s going on, and from there the story begins to unfold in spiraling twists that spiral forward to double back on top of each other.

the tastes of Glass onions don’t go too far below the surface, but at least that surface is deliciously shiny: Bron’s mansion has a large common room filled with delicate crystal sculptures that are just begging to be shattered. Hudson’s Birdie shows up with suitcases full of rich hippie clothes, including a mesmerizing polychrome frill of a dress that almost hypnotizes the other guests. And there are some great gags, including a robot script that punishes Blank every time he hides to smoke. Living clean seems to be the death of us all.

There are several downsides to this glass onion, Things he doesn’t have, as his predecessor did: Christopher Plummer as a brutal patriarch. No Chris Evans in a big sweater. And sometimes the characters’ endlessly clever banter runs in tiresome circles. Glass onions sometimes it works hard to remind us how much fun we should have. It also loses a bit of steam at the end: in setting up the story, Johnson introduces so many loose ends that it takes some work and effort to tie them up. But it’s still enjoyable enough to last until Benoit Blanc’s final sardonic mince. Glass onionshis motives are transparent – he’s just trying to entertain. But then, no matter how you slice it, that’s what we’re here for.

More must read TIME


Contact us at letters@time.com.