The follow-up to ‘Knives Out’ sees Daniel Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc out to solve a brand new mystery.
Cast off your Aran knits and grab your suitcase as we swap leafy New England for a sunny Greek island in Glass Onion, the much-anticipated sequel to 2019’s Knives Out.
Thankfully, it’s just as fun, punchy and twisty as its predecessor. Like its titular vegetable, the film’s plot has layers, and there are many revelations to peel away.
Writer and director Rian Johnson’s whodunnit begins as five friends are sent a mysterious box of puzzles. Once the codes are cracked, the box reveals an invite to a private island for a weekend of mixing drinks, making memories, and a murder mystery. The host? Barefoot billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton).
He assembles his “closest inner circle” comprised of politician Claire (Kathryn Hahn), beefy men’s rights content creator, Duke (Dave Bautista), tech bro Lionel (Leslie Odom Jnr), the outspoken and ‘cancelled’ Birdie (Kate Hudson) and the brilliantly frosty Andi (Janelle Monae).
But it’s when an invite falls into the hands of southern detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) that the fun really begins. The inner circle and detective Blanc, joined by Birdie’s assistant and Duke’s girlfriend, make their way to Miles’ island, which sits in the shadow of a large glass onion.
The gang first formed when Miles and Andy collaborated on business venture, Alpha, though Andy was later “Social Networked” and cruelly upstaged by Miles – who ran away with the company, bringing their money-hungry friends with him. The first mystery is discerning why Andy was invited in the first place.
Like in the first film, each character is a brilliant caricature of someone we all know and love to hate. Thanks to their over-the-top personalities, each actor is given room to have fun with their role. If Monae feels underutilised at first, hang on, because she soon takes centre stage.
Craig has double-o-done it again as the scene-stealing detective, delivering a comedic performance within a wholly likeable character. Trying to keep up with his line of enquiry is like trying to hold water, and it’s best to just sit back and let the pro do his job.
For anyone looking to completely disengage from reality and immerse themselves in a lavish Greek getaway, be warned – there is a Covid reality for Blanc and his fellow holidaymakers. The opening scene, set in May 2020, brings masks and Zoom into the plot. When we’re reintroduced to suave detective Blanc, he’s playing lockdown computer craze, Among Us, in the bath.
There’s even a buzzy penthouse party at Birdie’s behest – but as she tells her friends, the guests are all in her pod, “so it’s fine.” Thankfully, the pandemic (or “pando” as it’s later referred to) doesn’t dampen the atmosphere, instead injecting a little bit of a reality check into a wonderfully wacky world.
Miles’ island is so full of wealth-affirming trinkets and gadgets that audiences should aim to be as eagle-eyed as possible. Like a game of Cluedo, anything can be a weapon. To that end, the opulence of the setting is best caught on the big screen when the film makes its theatrical debut, but it should also brighten up a dreary winter’s evening when it hits streaming.
With a fairly hefty runtime of over two hours, there are parts that drag, and you may be wondering at times when the story will really kick off. But when it does, it does so with an indulgent abundance. And as the mystery unravels, you’re more lost in the story than you are aware of time passing.
Ultimately, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery raises interesting questions about corruption, fame, money and consequence, with plenty of laughs to be had along the way. The stakes are comically high, but the payoff is satisfying, so suspend your disbelief, don your best cravat, and enjoy the ride.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is in select cinemas for one week only from November 23 and on Netflix December 23.