The last month has been an important one for the movie industry. “The Menu” and “Glass Onion” are two comedic mysteries which attracted attention in November.
“The Menu” premiered on November 18th, 2022. The movie follows a young couple who scores a reservation to the world's premier restaurant. Costing $1,250 a head, they travel to a remote island and dine with 9 guests in a (perhaps too much so) personalized experience. In a series of escalating twists, the guests find themselves in a perilous situation in the restaurant. “The Menu” stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholous Holt as the protagonist couple, and Ralph Fiennes as the twisted head chef.
Having only watched previews and knowing nothing of the plot other than that it involved food, I was pleasantly surprised with the movie. It surpassed the usual niche-horror genre that it occupies. The comedy was surely the highlight, with the hodgepodge of guests creating a lighthearted and diverse atmosphere despite the disturbing events that take place. Three corrupt bankers, a pretentious food reviewer, an old fashioned businessman, and Nicholous Holt’s food-obsessed, just happy to be there boyfriend. The interactions and dialogue are the highlight of the movie, and the tension that builds in the first half makes the first hour extremely involved. Much of the movie’s comedy is at the expense of real-life high cost restaurants, or the pretentious people who sometimes eat at them.
The message and themes of the movie came off as a bit cliche at times, and for those who enjoy different settings and characters, much of the movie takes place in the same restaurant. The second half is weaker than the first, with the buildup slightly outweighing the payoff. “The Menu”, however, is a good watch and provides an amusing and impactful satirical commentary on arts and the rich.
“Glass Onion” is the sequel to the very successful “Knives Out” and premiered on November 23rd, 2022. The movie follows Blanc, the world's greatest detective (played by Daniel Craig). Craig continued to deliver a comedic performance, and the second film excels in the same areas as the first. The cast features Dave Bautista, Edward Norton, and Jannelle Monae.
“Glass Onion” excels in the same areas as “Knives Out”, a comedic and talented cast navigate a wacky and confusing murder mystery. Where the sequel veers off course however, is the mystery pay-out. I found the plot to be a bit lazier and the great reveals to be weaker than the original. The dialogue is still sharp, but not quite as witty and perhaps a little self-congratulating at times. If you enjoyed “Knives out”, you’ll enjoy the “Glass Onion”.