I've said it before, and I'll say it again, apparently every year around this time: January is where movies go to die. As a big fan of 2000's Unbreakable who was happier than a whore during Fleet Week when its much-belated 2016 sequel, Split, didn't suck as much as, well, a whore during Fleet Week, I couldn't wait to see Split's sequel, Glass. Until I saw its January release date. Because right then I knew Glass was going to be a whole lot more The Last Airbender than The Sixth Sense.
I've been pulling for M "& M" Night Shyamalan since his 1999 smash hit. He's a Center City-lovin' Philly boy, he's got moxie, and he never compromises his vision of a film. In an alternate universe, we're likely Rogen and Goldberg-esque creative partners and best buds. Remember that meeting at your apartment, M, when I (admittedly potentially inadvertently) gave you the idea to cast Bruce in The Sixth Sense?
But come the fuck on, Night Man! Glass was your chance to kick the critics' teeth in, to stand once again a giant among mere mortal moviemakers and proclaim, "I am the new Hitchock, the Twist Master, Builder of Worlds, motherfuckers," as you dickslapped the Hollywood sign with your 25-foot cock. Alas, your big brain couldn't get out of its own way. You overthought it, and instead of glittering Glass shatters under its own weight.
Don't get me wrong, you nailed some bits - as you always do. I love how you resolved the Dunn-Glass-Beast triangle; fuck audience expectations! You got an Oscar-worthy performance out of McAvoy. You camera fucked 30th Street Station and the Philly skyline like the lovingest of lovers. You introduced an outstanding "are they or aren't they" wrinkle. All of which made ol' Cinemavenger smile wider than J-Lo's ass.
Then you made the Beast's finishing move a hug. And did nothing with a promising Stockholm syndrome subplot. And failed to grab the low-hanging comic fruit that if someone bumped into as many Philadelphians as Bruce's character does, at least one of them would end up cold-cocking Superman.
Call me, M. You - and the world - need another Sixth Sense.
January 18, 2019