Column by Rodrigo González: Glass Onion, the best detective in the world versus La Isla Maldita

Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), the investigator of the American South who descends from Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, returns to work after a desperate time with the innocuous things in life. Blanc is not made for the trivial, but to solve big cases. Really big. That’s not why he is called the “best detective in the world”.

Any character that dares to hold such credentials on the big screen needs, above all, charisma in the person who interprets it and, in this case, the English actor Daniel Craig proves once again that he is above average in Hollywood. Capable of going badass with his natural physical appearance or inhabiting the position of 007 with class for 15 years and five films, he now plays for the second time the flamboyant, dedicated and not infrequently hilarious investigator Blanc after Knives Out: Between Knives and Secrets (2019)

Films of the genre known as “whodunit” (Who has done it?) have a very long tradition in Hollywood that in turn has its precedent in the also extensive and noble life of detective novels and stories, from those of Edgar Allan Poe to Agatha Christie. Its plots are deliberately labyrinthine and if someone has a decent grasp of logic he can enjoy like a child with a new toy every time he solves a puzzle. On the contrary, if the viewer is rather sensory and does not believe (or is not able to understand) the thread of the plot, frustration will accompany the entire experience.

That’s where only personal charm saves the money on admission, and in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery there’s plenty of charisma and talent to make us enjoy the film even if we don’t grasp every cog in its mechanism. The plot of the film available on Netflix starts when an eccentric tycoon very much in the vein of Elon Musk and called Miles Bron (Edward Norton) summons his entourage of famous friends and collaborators to his personal island in Greia. As part of a game, they are supposed to solve the “murder” of him after being witnesses.

Each character is somewhat successful for one reason or another and they’ve known each other since they were total strangers. The one who went the furthest was obviously Bron and willing to enjoy the Mediterranean luxury arrived the designer and influencer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), the twitch celebrity Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), the narcissistic Governor of Connecticut Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) and Miles Bron’s scientist-in-hire Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.).

Nobody is very politically correct, nobody runs away from money or pleasure and if it weren’t for the presence of Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), Bron’s ex-partner, it could be a board of directors of human abjection. Andi, who seems to have fallen out with her old partner for plausible reasons, breaks the mold and really shouldn’t have been there. Neither did Benoit Blanc. But that is already saying too much.

Without revealing more and for those who are allergic to so much execrable character, it must be said that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery can always be redeemed cinematically thanks to the infallible aura of Benoit Blanc, the best detective in the world.

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