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Review - Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

[The following review contains MINOR SPOILERS; YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!]

How does one approach writing a sequel to Knives Out? After all, much of that reverse-whodunnit’s humor arises from the uncertainty over whether Daniel Craig’s Southern-fried sleuth is actually a competent detective… or merely a bumbling nitwit, fruitlessly struggling to unravel a seemingly convoluted mystery while the culprit is quite literally right under his nose the entire time. Of course, the film’s conclusion resolves that ambiguity on a rather definitive note. So… where can the series really go from there?

Fortunately, director Rian Johnson is too clever to regurgitate the same old formula; Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (now playing in a meager handful of theaters ahead of its official release on Netflix in December) is a different beast altogether. Its twists and turns lend it a completely distinct flavor—a unique identity that allows it to succeed on its own merits without sacrificing its predecessor’s inherent charm.

The plot—appropriately enough, considering the title—is structured in layers, with each act gradually peeling away various lies, deceptions, and red herrings. As our intrepid protagonists penetrate ever deeper into the labyrinthine puzzle around which the conflict revolves, every new revelation totally alters the context of the preceding scenes, illuminating still more confounding conundrums nested within the overarching enigma. And at the center of the narrative, surrounded by a cacophony of distracting bells and whistles, lies the deceptively simple solution—a truth worth the effort of pursuing.

Impeccably cast, uproariously funny, and eerily relevant to current events, Glass Onion easily ranks among my ten favorite movies of 2022. It would earn its spot on the list if it was only a ridiculously well executed example of its genre—but it exceeds even that lofty criterion. I’ll end my review there, lest I inadvertently spoil any of the story’s surprises.

Because a riddle to which you already know the answer is akin to a joke without a punchline.

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