Getting the knives out and sharpened for "Glass Onion"
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Starring Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline and Ethan Hawke. Written and directed by Rian Johnson. Now playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox until Nov. 30; screens on Netflix beginning Dec. 23. 139 minutes. PG-13 (U.S.)
⭐️⭐️½ (out of 4)
Foghorn Leghorn meets Agatha Christie again as Daniel Craig's Southern sleuth Benoit Blanc returns in this follow-up to "Knives Out," the 2019 whodunit hit. There's much mirthful menace as writer/director Rian Johnson obeys sequel law: more of everything, including fresh schemers, a fab sidekick and exotic location (a private Greek island). Craig’s bloviating Blanc still delights, although now he's more ostentatious Austin Powers than suave 007, as one look at his blue, white and yellow beachwear attests. As if by accident, Blanc finds himself at the Grecian hideaway of dimwitted billionaire tech whiz Miles Bron (Edward Norton) for what's supposed to be a lavish long weekend of murder mystery fun. Via an elaborate puzzle-box invite, Bron has summoned his best pals to meet up and match wits: tattooed social influencer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), former model and forever loose cannon Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), smartypants scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), loudmouth Connecticut governor Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) and their various helpers. Also present but not completely accounted for is Andi Brand (Janelle Monáe), Bron's former business partner, who has a layer or two to strip off the onion. Is Bron as dumb as he sounds? Are his "friends" merely the Facebook kind? The lights go out, screams are heard, a body is found and the game's afoot. How much you'll enjoy "Glass Onion" may depend entirely on your fondness for ridiculous coincidence and crowded contrivance, but none of it is meant to be taken seriously. I prefer to smile at Blanc's best bloviation: "It's a dangerous thing to mistake speaking without thought to speaking the truth." 🌓