Almost twenty years after Unbreakable , two years after Split , Mr. Night Shyamalan brings these two worlds together in Glass , a clever, existential superhero movie: the antipodes of Marvel blockbusters that dictate the tempo of current action movies.
To understand Glass , which will be released next week in cinemas, we have to go back to Unbreakable (2000). In this opus, David Dunn (Bruce Willis) discovered powers after a train accident from which he was alone unhurt. In addition to his extraordinary strength, he saw the bad deeds of an individual by a simple contact with him.
Ending by accepting his vocation, Dunn became a vigilante. A fate actually dictated by Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a collector of comics of superheroes, with Machiavellian intelligence, who turned out to be his worst enemy under the name of Mr. Glass, in reference to his illness of glass bones.
In Split , Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), suffering from multiple personality disorders, sequestered three teenagers to deliver them to “the Beast”, one of the 24 characters who live there, with a superhuman strength.
Only one survived, while Crumb, surrounded by the police, managed to escape. In the last scene of the film, a man in a bar discovered the news on television: David Dunn.
Thus, in a clever and unexpected way, Shyamalan opened the way for a trilogy to find his epilogue in Glass , finally offering, to the fans of the first hour, a continuation to Unbreakable .
“From the start, I thought of the whole thing as a trilogy. But after Unbreakable , I went through a period of emotional fragility, of doubt. I had convinced myself not to do immediately, “says Mr. Night Shyamalan to AFP.
“I wanted to do something even darker and weird. But I could see that the expectations were different. And then the Marvel movies have arrived. They were up-to-date and they changed the face of entertainment cinema, “he adds.
The art of rebounding
In this third installment, Dunn finds traces of Crumb, who has just kidnapped other teenage girls. After their violent fight, both are captured and interned in a mental asylum.
Dr. Staple (Sarah Paulson) supports them. His specialty is to heal individuals who believe they are superheroes. A pathology that suffers another patient, long-standing in the walls: Elijah Price, said Mr. Glass.
Dunn, Crumb, Glass are they really superheroes? This is the question that Shyamalan poses, never stingy in trompe-l’oeil.
The film responds in an epilogue whose great dramatic tension is based on the rebounding art that has made the filmmaker’s reputation since his debut and brings him closer to Alfred Hitchcock than to Steven Spielberg, to whom he was soon compared.
For Shyamalan, to reconnect with such mastery, is a small miracle. After a thunderous debut with The Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable and Signs (2002), he ended up straying on the road in big grandiloquent productions ( After Earth , The Last Airbender ), losing all credit to the studios.
And this, until his resurrection with The Visit (2015), a small horror film with a budget of $ 5 million for which he mortgaged his house and who finally paid 100, then Split which cost 8 millions and Raised almost 300. Back to the wall, the 48-year-old director managed to re-run his idea machine, becoming again the precocious magician he was.
Enjoying a more comfortable envelope (20 million) for Glass , Shyamalan ensures, however, keep the same state of mind since its beginnings: “I always say to myself:” Here is likely to be your last film “. Everything is played in the writing phase, when I put the pen on my sheet. If what I’m writing is really good, I can look forward to optimism. There, in this case, another thriller and a series for Apple that will launch its streaming channel .