1. Ego. I must have a lot of it. Either that or mystery writers think alike. Either way, I couldn’t help but notice that this story — the second in the ‘Knives Out’ series — shares a lot with the second installment of my Psychic Barber Mystery series.
a. The main detective starts out a little antsy, looking for the chance to get into a new case.
b. After some set-up, both stories take place in the house of a rich person.
c.The people visiting that house are all “friends,” but more like hangers-on.
d. The story is set in a very specific time period, and the story uses our knowledge of that time period to set the scene AND to say something about society.
e. And some other things that veer too far into spoiler territory to publish here. For this movie and my own book.
2. It’s very good. For me, it handles a lot of qualifications of a good sequel, specifically for its handling of Benoit Blanc. He is introduced as a famous detective, but nobody refers to the previous filmed story; he’s bigger than that. This is very good news for the future of the series, because we will not be stuck to some complicated continuity; the stories are standalone and complicated enough.
3. It’s very funny. Much like the last movie, there is a real playfulness at work, even in the way it handles its cameos. Lesser movies would take this kind of budget and pull together a ton of buzz-building walk-ons to pop their head in for a line then disappear. Not so with “Glass Onion.” True, some cameos are just one line and then they disappear, but they seem specifically chosen to build the scene or inform character.
4. Song Picking Nit Picks. Honestly, the only thing really bugging me is how on-the-nose the musical choice was for the closing credits. I feel like that meeting went like this:
Rian Johnson: “The title is ‘Glass Onion.’ What song should we have playing over the credits?”
Some Producer Guy: “How about the song ‘Glass Onion?’”
Rian Johnson: “You mean the most obvious choice because it has the same title, even though the content of that song has nothing to do with this movie?”
Some Producer Guy: “Uh-huh.”
Rian Johnson: “I love it.”
On a similar note, it’s interesting to me that the last movie ended with a Rolling Stones song, and this one ends with a Beatles song. It’ll drive me nuts if the third one doesn’t also contain a song from another British Invasion group.
5. Monae’s Great. Hardly seems like writing this qualifies as “news,” but I was impressed **again** by this performer. At one point in her career, I was impressed with her performance as a musician doing some acting. And now it’s just watching a star. She should be in more stuff.
All in all, really great.