'Glass' Reminds Us That Objectivism Is the Beating Heart of Superhero Myths

Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy and Bruce Willis star in "Glass." (Universal)

M. Night Shyamalan's "Glass" (out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital) is the payoff movie in a secret trilogy that began with the great 2000 film "Unbreakable" and continued with the extremely good (and huge 2016 hit) "Split."

"Split," a strong horror movie about a kidnapper (James McAvoy) with dissociative identity disorder (DID, aka "split personality"), doesn't let on that it's a sequel until an add-on scene during the credits when the accidental superhero from "Unbreakable" (Bruce Willis) shows up in a diner where he watches a newscast about the escaped kidnapper.

"Unbreakable" is about the quest of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a man with osteogenesis imperfecta who aims to prove that superheroes are based on real individuals with unnatural abilities. Price's disease makes his bones prone to easy breakage, and he's devoted his life to comic books and proving his theory in what turn out to be alarming ways.

In "Split," Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) is being treated by a psychiatrist who believes that DID patients may not be damaged or lesser than other humans but somehow gifted with more insight and ability. This being a horror movie, she pays the price for her theory.

In "Glass," we learn that David Dunn (Willis) has been roaming the streets of Philadelphia for almost 20 years, avenging crime and protecting the weak. When he rescues a team of cheerleaders from Crumb a month after events from "Split," both Crumb and Dunn are captured by a doctor (Sarah Paulson) who aims to prove that people who believe that they have supernatural abilities are mentally ill (in spite of the insane feats of strength they can perform).

Crumb and Dunn join Price for some group therapy even though Price (aka Mr. Glass) has been heavily medicated for almost 20 years and just drools in his wheelchair. (Guess who's been faking.)

What we have here is a treatise on how special people are persecuted by the world when they're not allowed to pursue their dreams and maximize their talents. It's kind of a depressing reminder that an Ayn Rand-style persecution complex is the inspiration for most of our beloved comic book heroes.

On a week when the very good "Avengers: Endgame" champions notions of sacrifice and the collective good, it's kind of a comedown to watch "Glass" and think about the poor, misunderstood giants among us.

"Glass" isn't nearly as good a movie as "Unbreakable" or "Split," but fans of the first two will want to watch it anyway.

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