Glass – A shattered opportunity?

Kevin Wendell Crumb, one of the main trilogy characters.

I’m a bit late for the tea party that is M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Eastrail 177 Trilogy’, though to be fair the first film of this triple play was two years before my time. Despite that and some strange things Shyamalan’s movies have been known for, my interest was piqued by the purple hued thriller trailer that appeared on a my movie screen almost seven months ago to introduce Glass.

I should give you a precursor: I don’t know jack squat about M. Night Shyamalan’s work or the content that inspired this trilogy, but I’m willing to toss myself into the deep blue ocean of ‘I don’t know’ for this. We’re striding in blind folks – so join me on this popcorn fueled quest to see what everyone’s been yammering on about.

Desperately trying to imitate a drawn out suspenseful story, Unbreakable is strangely bland opening to the trilogy, leaving behind no truly memorable moment.

The characters seem to be conveying emotion from under damp dish towels. Even the ending scene leaves the movie with the impression it was a rough draft rather then a final cut. The dialogue is clunky and no one in the film seems to want anything to do with each other.

If I hadn’t heard so much about the second and third installments of the series, I’d stop here. While Unbreakable introduced a different kind of villain and hero, it didn’t ignite an interest – instead making me wonder why I just spent nearly two hours on a film where nothing seems to happen. My advice: skip Unbreakable, wiki the plot, and move on to the next films. You’re not missing much.

Split seems to capture everything the trilogy’s opener mess up. Where Unbreakable is dreary and scraping together minuscule amounts of suspense, the second installment already has it’s plot in motion before the five minute mark. Additionally, Split managed to create two captivating main characters.

The presence of Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) is eerie and distinct next to her fellow kidnap victims, and the identities of Kevin Grum (James McAvoy) are darkly alluring as their story unfolds. Both main characters are given fleshed out development sequences, however the other two kidnap victims come across as fluffed up cardboard cutouts of the horror movie pretty girl who dies in the end.

The movie itself kept my attention, however by the end I found I was more interested in the characters then the plot.

Split is a anti-hero film dabbling with a bit of horror and a sprinkling of a Criminal Minds esk style. It works as a stand alone while also saving the Eastrail 177 Trilogy from an unstimulating beginning.

As the final piece to the trilogy, Glass makes its way into the scene to bring the main characters of Unbreakable and Split together. Yet, it hardly manages to do anything.

Glass was a surprising let down, merely a “meh” on the movie radar. David Dunn (Bruce Willis) remains as bland and disinteresting as he began in Unbreakable  – the character’s only redeeming quality being his grey dad beard. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) remains eccentric but stays a surprisingly safe character. Doctor Ellie Stable (Sarah Paulson) mimics the past roles of Paulson and her personality seems liquid even at the end of the film. Most of the secondary characters are bland or behave in whatever manner is most convenient for the story line. One of the films redeeming qualities is it’s soundtrack,  it’s nothing especially wonderful but it remains a hundred times better than Unbreakable’s background music

Glass finishes out the three part arc with a flatline ending rather then some big bang.

The Eastrail 177 Trilogy is one I expect to end up on a Watchmojo video akin to “Awesome Concepts Wasted On Mediocre Movies”. The trilogy takes a concept about a comic obsessed man’s mentality with a serious tone and runs with it, but the two of the threes movies just aren’t that well executed, leaving the premise feeling more flimsy then it did to begin with.