Stirling Observer

Vibrant sequel with verve and vigour


Rian Johnson re-energised the murder-mystery movie with the wonderful Knives Out.

Netflix certainly took notice of its critical acclaim and purchased the rights to two follow-ups for an eyewaterin­g $450 million.

The first, Glass Onion, sees the return of Daniel Craig’s world-renowned detective Benoit Blanc with a whole new mystery to solve, this time on a plush Greek island.

Kicking off with a breathless sequence of extravagan­t puzzles, it’s clear Johnson isn’t resting on his laurels as, if anything, his sequel is even more stimulatin­g than its predecesso­r.

Using split screens, Zoom calls and often putting his camera right in his cast’s faces, Johnson directs with energy and enthusiasm – and moves the drama from the original’s claustroph­obic mansion to the lavish, sun-kissed outdoors.

Everyone in the on-screen ensemble has a blast. Craig, the only returning character, adds more layers and quirkiness to the desperate for a case Blanc, Kate Hudson’s Birdie has no verbal filter, Edward Norton (Miles) is the best he’s been in years and Janelle Monáe’s (Andi) stoic coiled-rage is hiding so much more.

Dave Bautista (Duke) continues to expertly hone his comedic-but-deep skills, Noah Segan (Derol) provides a fun running gag and there are a few surprising, and delightful, cameos from some really big names.

It’s an hour in before someone is actually killed but the crew are so engaging and crammed with secrets you barely notice.

Johnson’s plot ups the elaboraten­ess on the original – a deep-dive flashback changes everything that came before, everyone is a suspect – however it’s relatively easy to follow.

Playful and, at times, a bit bonkers, Glass Onion is a vibrant sequel with verve and vigour that ensures you are counting down the days until Blanc once again pulls on his thinking cap.

●What are your thoughts on Glass Onion? How does it rate compared to Knives Out?

Pop me an email at ian.bunting@ and I will pass on your comments – and any movie or TV show recommenda­tions you have – to your fellow readers.

Martin Walker said: “It was a while before I gave BBC’S Ghosts a chance but I’m glad I did as it’s absolutely hilarious television.”

The Maze Runner beats the likes of fellow young adult book adaptation­s Divergent, Ender’s Game and Beautiful Creatures hands down by giving its young cast an interestin­g, easy to follow story fraught with danger and plenty of twists and turns.

Dylan O’brien’s Thomas is deposited into a community of boys outside a mysterious maze with no memory of his past. Like television’s Lost, it’s unravellin­g the puzzles that drives proceeding­s – and keeps the characters on their toes.

It’s a shame the sequels didn’t build on this flick’s tantalisin­g promise.

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