A Modern Mystery Like Never Before

How does the “Knives Out” sequel hold up?


Anthony Luparello

Present at the Austin Film Festival, “Glass Onion” director Rian Johnson participated in a Q&A session with a moderator to answer audience questions after the film’s premiere. Set as a standalone sequel from its predecessor “Knives Out”, the movie revolves around Detective Benoit Blanc solving another murder mystery case. With a new cast of unique and diverse characters and a plot that held my attention better than any other mystery film, “Glass Onion” was definitely worth the watch.

Anthony Luparello, Reporter

Earlier last November, the Austin Film Festival hosted a plethora of movie showcases for all sorts of moviegoers, and to conclude the event, the festival premiered the long-awaited sequel to the Knives Out franchise, “Glass Onion,” at the Paramount Theatre in Downtown Austin. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the premiere, and without a doubt, it was one of my favorite movie experiences in a long while. 

Directed by Rian Johnson, the movie highlights the return of detective Benoit Blanc, played by Daniel Craig, investigating a death at a private island owned by billionaire Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton. The film starts with invitations to a murder mystery party sent by Bron to his closest friends in a visually unique title sequence that takes place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which expertly introduces its main cast of colorful characters by showcasing their quirks and the hilarious ways they coped with quarantine, such as politician Claire Debella, played by Kathryn Hahn, whose character tries to promote social distancing despite being around her film crew with a mask half off.

Not too long after, the movie quickly picks up as it shows Blanc suspiciously receiving an invitation to the party as well, despite not having any connections with the millionaire. This was personally a very smart choice story-wise as it hooked me into the story by sparking my curiosity whilst also introducing the detective in a very fluid fashion, without making his presence feel forced and drawn out. Unlike other mystery movies, “Glass Onion” had managed to perfectly pace itself by giving enough time to establish its main cast of personalities and show off its potential conflicts, all the while maintaining audience engagement. 

At this point in the movie, our characters begin to cross paths as they are about to board a boat to go to Bron’s private island, and as expected, their chemistry is an absolute spectacle to behold. All of their problematic personalities meshed together result in a lot of entertaining fun that also brutally pokes at some real life stereotypes, such as the toxic masculine Duke Cody and the social media-obsessed Birdie Jay, played by the talented Dave Bautista and Kate Hudson respectively. 

Despite Blanc’s appearance causing suspicion around the guests, they become even more confused when ex-associate of Bron’s tech company, Cassandra “Andi” Brand, played by Janelle Monáe, appears out of the blue, who without a doubt is my favorite character in the movie due to Monáe’s incredible acting choices and her character’s creatively-developed storyline that made me want to see her stand out on top by the end of the film. Without going into further spoilers, the movie heads into its second and third acts by dropping a lot of surprising plot elements that, through the use of Johnson’s expertly entertaining storytelling techniques, make perfect sense by the climax of the film, which speaking of, was absolutely astounding and easily my favorite part of the film.

By the time the film had concluded and we met Rian Johnson via Zoom, I was honestly speechless. Truth be told, I wasn’t expecting “Glass Onion” to be so freaking good, and while I loved the original “Knives Out,” I felt that Johnson was able to enhance a lot of particular aspects within its sequel such as the pacing, thrill, and comedy. It was an absolute pleasure to be able to witness the premiere of this gem alongside my friends. 

I give “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” a 10 out of 10.