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Rian Johnson

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Rian Johnson (2022)

The first “Knives Out” was a classic murder mystery in a 1980’ies style. A group of people in a big mansion, somebody dies and a detective comes to sort things out. For the sequel a more modern setting was chosen.

A group of rich and influential friends spend a luxury weekend every year at a surprise location. We have got our businessman, scientist, “influencer”, fashion icon, YouTube hit, etc. They are lured to a remote Greek island where they will play a murder mystery. For some reason Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is part of the group, the famous detective of part 1. Regarding the theme, this is of course fitting.

Blanc has solved the murder before it even happened and the weekend risks becoming a disaster. Of course, things are not that easy. The friends prove not to be as close as they thought they were.

The second “Knives Out” is -like the first- amusing. Critical towards (internet) celebraties and the richest of the rich. Again, there are some famous faces in the film.

Knives Out – Rian Johnson (2019)

Is it because a follow up was recently launched that Netflix is pushing this film?

“Knives Out” is an old style murder mystery. A family is gathered in a big mansion, somebody ends up dead and a witty detective comes to figure out what happened. So far, so good.

Now the witty detective is Daniel Craig and we also have Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Plummer. You get it, some old-timers wanted to have some fun with an old-time movie.

Like in Gervasi’s “Hitchcock” you get a humorist murder mystery. There are perhaps no surprises (besides -perhaps- “Murder She Wrote” on the television), but “Knives Out” is an amusing, light watch.

Looper – Rian Johnson (2012)

In this time-travel film a “looper” is a hired killer for criminals of the future who send back the people they want executed. Not too surprisingly one of those sent back has the plan to prevent being caught by killing the person responsible for his apprehension.

The film is alright. The story is not too original with all the time-travel films that have been released and there are no big surprises except for the obligatory one at the end.

Not a bad film, but it need not to be very high up your watch-list.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Rian Johnson (2017)

The Christmas film of this year is another episode in the sage of the battle between good and evil.

As I got used to by now, the story is not as elaborate as is usually suggested. The rebellion is fought by the First Order who got new methods to make life difficult for the rebels. Some space battles are shown and things get hard, but end relatively well.

As for the ‘bigger story’, Luke Skywalker decided to end the Jedi order, but of course not everybody agrees. In the previous film we had a new Vader and that story is worked towards a situation in which good vs evil is not as black and white as it can be.

Even though this is Johnson’s first Star Wars the whole film looks typically Star Wars with no surprises in characters or props. Even some actors have remained the same since the beginning.

An entertaining film with no surprises.

The Brothers Bloom * Rian Johnson (2008)

  • comedy

A good guess, this film. “The Brothers Bloom” is a wonderfull, subtle and intelligent comedy reminding of a film like “Big Fish“, a British kind of humour. Two brothers make a living by swindling, the history of the couple is given in a hilarious opening sequence. The film slows down in the present time when they found another victim, a wonderfull part of Rachel Weisz. The story starts to twist and turn making room for funny situations and good wordplay. A very nice comedy!

Brick * Rian Johnson * 2005

BrickHm, two not too great choices for this weekend I’m afraid. I wonder why I “Brick” was in the arthouse section. It is a detective/thriller about somebody who wants to help his ex-girlfriend and starts poking in the world of heavy drug criminality loosing the girl in the process. “Brick” has an alright story line and well built-up tension, but arthouse…? What is a big bummer too is that it plays on a highschool and all characters are teenagers. The “hero”, his girlfriends, the “muscles” all the way up to the almighty drug baron who runs his empire from his mother’s basement. The capital crime is telling the school director about the drug involvements of a class-mate, yet the high-drug-cheeses fear no tortures or executions. Not very credible. “Brick” might have been an alright crime film for a drowsy tv evening, had the setting been a more logical one. As of now I can only conclude that the film itself is just above medium level, but the highschool setting makes me give a lower rating.