‘Glass’ is the latest film from prolific director M. Night Shyamalan. He’s had an uneven career with plenty of misses among the hits. His most recent film ‘Split’ was in the latter as it revealed itself to be a sequel to his 2000 success ‘Unbreakable’. ‘Glass’ is the third in this series, making for an unusual superhero franchise. ‘Glass’ confirms Shyamalan’s status as a risk-taker which is to be admired in this era of cinematic mediocrity.

Former cop turned unlikely superhero David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is battling his latest foe Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy). A dangerous criminal with a multitude of personalities, Crumb’s insidious presence is one David finds difficult to erase. Also causing David headaches is old nemesis Elijah Price (Samuel L Jackson) who holds the key to unravelling the secrets binding all three together.

Heavily steeped in comic-book lore, ‘Glass’ is very much a product of one who grew up reading them. Shyamalan is clearly a fan as he ticks of the usual tropes of the genre with the line between heroism and villainy blurred. Like his best films, Shyamalan has fun with the material and knows how to pace the story so it slowly unfurls in an intriguing manner. Price’s nefarious plans and Crumb and David’s part ensure the attention is held until an unexpected finale.

None of this would work without fine performances. When he feels like it, Willis can be a good actor as can Jackson. The one receiving top billing is McAvoy who, like most roles he does, dives into his performance with gusto. He embodies the terrifying menace of his character well with his unpredictability keeping things on their toes. Some moments feel contrived but Shyamalan’s script generally shows thought has been put into crafting an arresting story.

Even though he’s done some admittedly terrible films, ‘Glass’ show Shyamalan still has talent. If he stays away from the self-indulgence affecting his lesser work then he has the promise of delivering further solid films such as this one. Not all heroes or villains wear capes as ‘Glass’ proves and provides a refreshing antidote to other films full of virtuous muscle-bound saviours.

Rating out of 10: 7

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