Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery review – the best Christmas release

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Glass Onion is the first half of a two-movie deal involving Netflix, writer-director Rian Johnson and Bond star Daniel Craig. While not quite as clever as the first Knives Out movie from 2019, sharp lines, smart twists and lively performances suggest a bright future for Craig’s detective Benoit Blanc.

A group of idiotic rich people gather on a glamorous island for the annual get-together of old pals of Miles Bron (Edward Norton) – a vain, loud-mouth tech billionaire who brings to mind the current troubled boss of Twitter.

His guests are his fellow cultural and business “disruptors”, as he calls them. Dave Bautista is the star of a “men’s rights” YouTube channel, Kathryn Hahn is a controversial US politician, Kate Hudson plays an online fashion guru, and Leslie Odom Jr’s scientist is developing a potential lethal source of green energy.

Few of them thought Bron’s disgruntled former business partner Helen Brand (Janelle Monáe) would accept an invitation to his murder-mystery weekend.

And, as he was not even invited, no one expected to see the world’s greatest detective (Craig) roll up in his stripy holiday togs.

For the first half an hour or so, Blanc appears to be well off his game, smiling stupidly at his fellow partygoers and claiming his invitation must have been a practical joke.

But if you have seen any episode of Columbo, you will see a twist on the horizon. Around the half-hour mark, Johnson reveals Blanc’s dastardly ruse as a real murder-mystery begins to click into place.

It is funny, mildly satirical, hugely satisfying and this year’s best Christmas release. If the Bond actor is ready to take on a new franchise, he could eke out the rest of his career as the new David Suchet.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is streaming on Netflix now (certificate 12).

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