When it comes to sequels, writer-director Rian Johnson isn’t much for fan service.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” took interesting, yet divisive turns with its characters. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is a different beast than its predecessor.
Its main connection remains Benoit Blanc (another goofy, fantastic turn by Daniel Craig), dubbed “The greatest detective in the world,” as he investigates a death that takes place during an island getaway for a bunch of rich, entitled jerks.
Those characters include: the Elon Musk-esque tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a men’s rights activist influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), a politician Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and a scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.)
Taking place during the lockdown phase of the pandemic, all of them are dealing with it on their ways, with Blanc taking it especially hard, playing “Among Us” and longing for a new case to solve.
As a series of mystery boxes sent by Bron to his close friends arrive, one ends up in Blanc’s possession and he’s off with the rest to solve a fake murder case set up by Bron on a private Greek island that turns into a real crime.
With Blanc’s bonafides already established in the first “Knives Out,” both Craig and Johnson can have more fun with him. His southern drawl is more pronounced, his actions are a little sillier (Craig proves that a stroll in a full-body swimming can be hilarious) and his ability to deduce a case sharper.
This helps because throughout the movie’s first half, every character is an ego-centric jerk that you can’t wait to get some kind of comeuppance. Where “Knives Out” had you rooting for Marta, played by Ana de Armas, and her warm relationship with the late Harlan Thrombey, from the beginning, there’s nothing like that in this until the movie takes a big turn.
Trading in the coziness and claustrophobia of the Thrombey estate in “Knives Out,” Johnson gives “Glass Onion” a more tech-centric, sprawling mystery, without sacrificing the human element. Shot by longtime cinematographer Steve Yedlin, he makes a simple series of puzzles feel tense and tactile while the glass mansion it mostly takes place in feels both elegant and cold.
While “Knives Out” was a surprise smash hit, “Glass Onion” doesn’t feel weighed down with the comparison. No previous characters show up and the case is only referenced in passing. Instead, it’s allowed to be its own thing — which is funnier, goofier and more twist-filled than the first. While it lacks a little of its warmth, it’s still a satisfying case to take up.
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” will have a weeklong run in theaters starting today. It will premiere on Netflix on Dec. 23.
A musical manuscript handwritten by Ludwig van Beethoven is getting returned to the heirs of the richest family in pre-World War II Czechoslovakia, whose members had to flee the country to escape the Holocaust. The Moravian Museum in the Czech city of Brno has had the original manuscript for the fourth movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130 in its collection for more than 80 years. The museum put the score on display for the first time this week in anticipation of handing it over to its rightful owners. “It’s one of the most precious items in our collections,” museum curator Simona Sindlarova said.
The camel batted her eyelashes and flashed a toothy smile for the television cameras at the Mzayen World Cup. The camel pageant was being held in the Qatari desert about 15 miles (25 kilometers) away from Doha and soccer’s World Cup. The pageant is a cross between the Westminster Dog Show and the Miss America Pageant. The winner was Nazaa’a is a majestic light-haired creature that overcame several preliminary rounds and hundreds of other camels to win the pageant at Qatar Camel Mzayen Club on Friday.
The jury has begun deliberating in the Los Angeles trial of Harvey Weinstein. Jurors will have to decide on two rape counts and five other sexual assault counts after hearing more than four weeks of evidence in the trial of the 70-year-old former movie mogul. Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction in New York and could be sentenced to more than 60 years in prison in California if convicted on all counts. He has pleaded not guilty and denied engaging in any non-consensual sex. Jurors had just a few hours to deliberate on Friday afternoon before a weekend break.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In preparation for their upcoming series “George & Tammy,” Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain spent months learning the songs that George Jones and Tammy Wynette made famous, working with a vocal coach and making the pilgrimage to Nashville to record.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian troops in Ukraine are deliberately attacking the country's museums, libraries and other cultural institutions, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. and Ukrainian chapters of the international writers' organization PEN.