After a sweeping box office success in 2019, Rian Johnson was off to the races to produce a sequel to “Knives Out” and after three years, a switch in distributors, and a pandemic, it finally arrived. Ditching the New England estate and familial setting, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” moves detective Benoit Blanc to a Grecian island owned by tech billionaire Miles Bron.

The film follows a fantastic ensemble cast, so-called “disruptors” who are portrayed by the likes of Kathryn Hahn as Claire Debella, fictional governor of Connecticut, Dave Bautista and Madelyn Cline as Duke Cody and Whiskey respectively, a pair of social media influencers, Kate Hudson as Birdie Jay, a popular fashion designer and model, Leslie Odom Jr. an employee of Bron’s company Alpha, and Janelle Monáe as Cassandra Brand, former partner to Bron and co-founder of Alpha. All of them share deep connections with the tech magnate who is portrayed by Edward Norton.

The entire cast is a hoot, constantly throwing jokes out at the other’s expense and all vying for the attention of Bron, who is backing them in one way or another. But by far the standout is Birdie, Hudson plays the dumb blond stereotype fantastically. Jay’s assistant Peg, played by Jessica Henwick, is another wonderful piece of her character. Their constant bickering caused by Peg’s understanding of modern trends and Jay’s unwillingness to listen to her was hilarious to watch playout.

One scene, in particular, is right in the beginning, after receiving a mysterious box from Miles, the group begins to work through the puzzle. The film follows a phone call with several splits to allow for every player to be represented on the screen at once, showing each of their respective backgrounds. Birdie is hosting a party during what should be our real-life lockdown period, and everyone makes mention of her not wanting to be canceled again. Peg walks by and reminds her of her usage of a slur on Twitter, which gave my whole theater a hearty laugh.

The entire film feels like it was written within the last few months. It’s incredibly timely and makes references to our current trends, jokes about rich, idiot billionaires, and has a lot to say about how simple-minded some people are. Its commentary on the pandemic and how every character is very careful of their image is also telling of our own timeline over the last two to three years.

After solving Miles’ puzzle box, the entire group is summoned to his island in the Aegean sea to participate in a murder mystery game. As they begin to pack for their weekend getaway, we are re-introduced to Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc. Once again Craig knocks it out of the park with his performance. He’s hard to get a read on, but at times is socially awkward and the odd man out amongst this group of long-time friends. This film finds him having a huge case of cabin fever, and wanting to get back into solving mysteries. But after receiving his own box, Blanc is dragged to Bron’s island as well.

The character’s trip to the island highlights the fantastic cinematography and shows just how stunning Greece is, no matter the time of year. The centerpiece of the film, the aptly named Glass Onion is also a phenomenal piece of eye candy. It’s a grandiose place, with a giant glass dome to top it off, it’s filled with statues and even the actual Mona Lisa, on loan from the Louvre.

The film is also stocked full of metaphors. The title is a big one, but one that is constantly circled is how selfish these people are. They are always described as “sucking the golden tit,” in relation to their ties to Miles but are also only friends because of that benefit. Hardly any of the members of the group actually like him and only get close to Miles to attain what they need for their own success. There is a painting in one scene that shows a snake eating its own tail which is incredibly symbolic of this message.

During a dinner scene, Blanc spoils the game after only a day on the island. As the party prepares to leave, everything descends into chaos. Leading to a hilarious game of cat and mouse that ultimately leads to the film’s finale.

The climax of the film is absolutely awesome. Another psychotic rant, similar to the first movie, by Blanc explains what we’ve seen up to that point and explains it for the audience as well as the characters. On top of that, a standout performance delivered by Monáe will leave the audience satisfied and laughing all the way home.

Without giving too much away because this film needs to be experienced, the mystery is complex but also very simple for anyone who is paying attention. As the title suggests, the layers are there, but the solution at the core is quite visible and in fact just as interesting as the layers above it. The film is filled to the brim with red herrings and redirects that keep the audience on their feet and aware of the twists and turns the story provides.

While the film isn’t in theaters anymore as of publishing, watching this in theaters was fantastic. The entire crowd was encapsulated by the film and was laughing constantly, adding to the experience. “Glass Onion” will be released on Netflix on Dec. 23. and is a perfect way to spend the holidays with your family.

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