After the major success of Knives Out in 2019, Rian Johnson returns with another case for Benoit Blanc to solve in Glass Onion. There's been a bit of a boom again in whodunits since the first film did so well and one thing Johnson ensures, unlike Kenneth Branagh did with his Hercule Poirot films, is that things are freshened up and it doesn't just feel like a boring retread of what made Knives Out so great.

Tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton) invites his friends for a getaway on his private Greek island. When someone turns up dead, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is put on the case.
We find Benoit Blanc in his worst possible state - between cases not knowing what to do with his time. Google have him down as the "World's Greatest Detective" but if that's not enough, this super sleuth needs his ego massaged no end to get back in the game. It makes for a great set-up by Rian Johnson because Blanc always knew why he'd been called upon in the first film yet here he's none the wiser, layers being peeled back with every passing scene by Johnson to reveal there's way more to this than meets the eye though. For the audience, it's a real treat to see Johnson firing on all cylinders when it comes to concocting a murder mystery with many twists and turns so effortlessly, all while providing a brilliant takedown of rich people and their asinine ways.

While I feel the family dynamic, or distinct lack of it, works better in the first film, Johnson crafts something so fresh here that it's impossible not to lap it all up. The characters created are mostly vacuous in their approach to the real world, making it incredibly satisfying to see them the subjects of a Blanc's scrutiny. The screenplay isn't as barbed as the first film but it doesn't need to be when Johnson is so good at creating conflict amongst the group without it, the blocking of some scenes to see certain characters reaction quite sublime as Steve Yedlin's cinematography and Bob Ducsay's editing pay attention to every minute detail. There's a shared theme with the first of clinging on to anything for financial reward so I'd maybe like to see him tackle something a little different in the next film.
Featuring an ensemble cast as impressive as its predecessor, Glass Onion really does kick into gear when they're all together on the island. The role of Benoit Blanc is one that Daniel Craig clearly revels in, no surprise seeing how tongue-in-cheek it is compared to his ever so serious Bond. Comedic timing was something I never had Craig down for but with this role he's certainly proved me wrong, his Blanc continuing to be an ever-present source of entertainment throughout these films. For a cast full of so many high profile names it takes some doing to stand out amongst them, and that's exactly what Janelle Monáe does here with such a captivating performance. Kate Hudson, Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn - I could go on but it's just such a pleasure to see actors like this work together so well. 

There are many surprises along the way in Glass Onion so make sure you keep away from any spoilers because they will be out there. This murder mystery was the perfect way to close London Film Festival this year and I'd happily watch many more of these from Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig.

Verdict: ★★★★★


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