Spoilers ahead for "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery," which premieres today.
In the new film, Benoit Blanc is invited to a private island murder mystery party that goes wrong.
The final mystery is a bit more complicated than "Knives Out." It's also more gratifying.
"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" somehow provides an even more cathartic ending than the first film.
The sequel, which premieres in theaters today, follows famous detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he joins a group of celebrity friends who go on their annual holiday together. This time, they're invited to a private island by Miles Bron (Edward Norton), a genius inventor and leader of the company Alpha, to play a murder mystery game.
However, when Blanc gets to the island mansion, people in the party start to get picked off by a murderer. Men's rights streamer Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) is the first victim and later during a blackout, Miles' former partner Cassandra "Andi" Brand (Janelle Monáe) also gets shot.
However, things are not as they seem.
If you find yourself confused by the turn of events in the last third of the film, here's how Blanc discovers the killer and gets justice for the victims.
Miles Bron is revealed to be the killer and a fraud
After "Andi" gets shot, the film jumps back in time to before the island party had begun. It's believed that the real Andi died by suicide after losing her company, Alpha. Miles had forced her out and took credit for designing everything so that she could receive no money from it. The one piece of evidence that could prove what he did is a napkin where she wrote the ideas for Alpha, which Andi thought she had lost.
So when Andi's twin sister, Helen Brand (also played by Monáe, naturally), discovers that her sister had found the napkin after all and told the other celebrity friends about it, Helen comes to the conclusion that one of them killed her to hide the truth. That's when she hires Benoit Blanc and together, with Helen posing as Andi, they head to the island to uncover the culprit.
It's Helen pretending to be Andi who's shot by the mystery assailant. Luckily, she survives because the bullet gets caught in her notebook.
While Helen searches for the final piece of the puzzle, Blanc distracts the other party guests by revealing the truth of what happened. He comes to the conclusion that Miles was the killer all along. Lionel Touissant (Leslie Odom Jr.) had revealed to Miles that Andi found the napkin and the Alpha leader decided to poison her to hide the truth. Duke had worked out the truth and attempted to blackmail Miles, which led to Miles killing him using pineapple juice, which the streamer was allergic to.
Finally, during the blackout, Miles took the opportunity to get rid of Helen. Helen then appears in the room while Benoit explains this to reveal the one piece of proof that ties it all together: Andi's napkin with the original plans for the company.
Instead of ending with Miles' arrest, Rian Johnson provides true justice for Andi and Helen by destroying everything he has built
Unfortunately, before they can show this piece of evidence to the police, Miles uses his lighter to burn the napkin, meaning there would be no way to prosecute. Each of Miles' friends, despite knowing that he's a killer, decides to keep protecting him since there's no longer proof to take him down and he has dirt on all of them.
Even Benoit reveals to Helen that as a detective, he cannot help her any further but provides her with another method to get justice. He gives her Klear, a clean hydrogen energy fuel that Alpha is trying to bring to market, and hints at her to use it. Previously in the film, Klear is said to be highly flammable, which is why members of Miles' company were cautious to put it on the market.
So instead of taking down Miles, Helen takes down his company.
She starts by smashing his glass trophies, which the other party guests join in as well since Miles has harmed them all in the past, in one way or another. Then Helen smashes alcohol on the floor and sets it on fire using a lighter. At this point, Miles and the others think Helen is just recklessly vandalizing the mansion.
This is when she reveals the Klear hydrogen and throws it onto the fire, making it erupt further. Helen then sets her sights on the final nail in the coffin. During the film, Miles reveals that he possesses the real Leonardo DaVinci painting "Mona Lisa" in his room (because he always wanted his name to be in the same sentence as the piece of art). Knowing this would ruin him, Helen opens up the glass case where the painting is kept so it can be consumed by the fire.
After everyone escapes the burning building, Helen reveals that not only did the fire destroy Miles' home and painting, but it proves how dangerous Alpha's new fuel is. This means that on top of the scandal that Miles destroyed a famous piece of art, the business leader cannot reveal his new venture which he had already spent a considerable amount of money on. This is when the other celebrity friends finally turn on Miles, saying they are willing to testify about his crimes in court, even at the cost of their own reputations.
This ending is a tad more gratifying than "Knives Out" for audiences. Having Miles arrested would have been a temporary solution. Just like Ransom in "Knives Out," Miles is rich enough and has good enough lawyers to escape getting fully punished for his crimes. The only true retribution for someone like Miles is to expose him fully and destroy everything he has stolen from others.
"Glass Onion" is currently in theaters.
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