Benoit Blanc returns, with a cast of A-listers from Edward Norton to Janelle Monáe, in Rian Johnson’s ingenious new whodunnit romp
The first one was good … this one is better: an ingenious, headspinningly preposterous and enjoyable new whodunnit romp featuring Daniel Craig as the legendary detective from the deep south, Benoit Blanc. Writer-director Rian Johnson has established his own murder-mystery working model, positioned equidistantly between the Agatha Christie approach, in which the culprit is revealed at the very end, and the Columbo approach, in which it happens at the very beginning. Here, as in the first film, the guilty party’s identity gradually emerges in the second half – not so much a twist as an
unfurling pirouette. But Johnson and his enigmatic, drawling sleuth keep us guessing.
Edward Norton is an insufferable tech bro called Miles Bron who has become a multitrillionaire through his stake in Alpha, an online network fusing data, news and cryptocurrency. He invites a whole bunch of pals and fellow “disruptors” to his private island with its giant domed building called the Glass Onion for a murder-mystery themed party: these include politician Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn), supermodel turned designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), YouTuber and men’s rights activist Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), scientist Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr) and – most uncomfortably of all – Cassandra Brand (Janelle Monáe), who had the original idea for Alpha but was ousted from the company by Miles and his lawyers with hardly a dollar.