After resurrecting the classic Agatha Christie-style whodunnit with the all-star box office hit Knives Out, writer-director Rian Johnson set himself the task of bringing the genre right up to date with the lavishly produced sequel, which is as much a satire of millennial nouveau riche one-percenters and the crass consumerist “culture” that props it up as it is a murder mystery. Not that Glass Onion is any less fiendish than its predecessor, but the laughs are bigger and more brutal and the vibe is very different: hot, splashy, extravagant. Daniel Craig’s honey-toned detective Benoit Blanc is back of course, this time a surprised invitee to a private island party presided over by billionaire inventor Miles Bron (Edward Norton, going for something between Steve Jobs and Elon Musk). Miles has set up a mystery game for his guests, with himself as the proposed murder victim. But of course things don’t quite go to plan…
Riffing on 1970s curio The Last of Sheila, but with the kind of production design that only blank checks can buy, Glass Onion is an eccentric artifact, a poisonous curate’s egg ordered up and paid for by Netflix padrone Reed Hastings. It’s also very much an auteur film by the ingenious genre makeover specialist Rian Johnson, whose six features to date are all moral interrogations artfully disguised as intricately playful exercises in deception, sleight of hand, and big screen entertainment.
Glass Onion adopts the sturdy structural underpinnings of the Agatha Christie-like whodunit, and presents them with an ingenious mix of postmodern irony and bona fide awe.
David Jenkins, Little White Lies
The first one was good … this one is better: an ingenious, headspinningly preposterous and enjoyable new whodunnit romp.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
One of the purest pop pleasures of the season, the kind of irresistible crowd-pleaser that balances its franchise obligations with a clear sense of wit and creative purpose.
Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail
Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monae, Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr., Kathryn Hahn, Dave Bautista
WINNER: Best Comedy and Best Acting Ensemble, Critics Choice Awards
Academy Award nominee: Best Adapted Screenplay
Ram Bergman, Rian Johnson
Also in This Series
Daniel Craig is a hoot as debonair southern detective Benoit Blanc, called in to unravel the mysterious death of veteran crime writer Harlan Thrombey. As is so often the case, Harlan's inheritance furnishes his entire extended family with ample motive.