The Bruce Willis superhero thriller that earned him a Razzie nod
(Credit: Netflix)


The Bruce Willis superhero thriller that earned him a Razzie nod

In a world inundated with caped crusaders and superhuman feats, M. Night Shyamalan dared to offer a different kind of superhero narrative once upon a time. Of course, it did not appease the audience, and even critics were left unimpressed and frustrated. But now, one of his superhero flicks, starring Bruce Willis, is trending on Netflix.

Glass, the culmination of a trilogy that began with Unbreakable and continued with Split, emerged as an idea at the cross-section of comic book mythology and human fragility. Despite its polarising reception, this James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson-led thriller earned a Razzie nod for Willis. Of course, this was just a few years before he was officially diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which affected his ability to communicate correctly, among other symptoms.

In 2021, the Golden Raspberry Awards introduced a new category named after Willis, listing eight films that were critically panned the previous year: ‘Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie’. After Willis’s aphasia diagnosis, the category was rescinded. 

In the announcement statement made to Vulture, the award show, which likes to take cheeky digs at cinematic misfires, the Razzies (as they are called in short), noted, “If someone’s medical condition is a factor in their decision making and/or their performance, we acknowledge that it is not appropriate to give them a Razzie.”

In the same statement, the Razzie organisers also mentioned that they were rescinding Shelley Duvall’s nomination for The Shining with the acknowledgement that her constant mistreatment by Stanley Kubrick during production must have impacted her performance. 

Directed, written, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, Glass boasts an ensemble cast featuring Willis, Jackson, McAvoy, and Anya Taylor-Joy. With such a lineup of talent, expectations were naturally high for this unconventional superhero saga. 

Set in the same universe as Unbreakable and Split, Glass intertwines the stories of David Dunn (Bruce Willis), a security guard with superhuman strength, Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), a comic book aficionado with brittle bone diseases, and Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a man with dissociative identity disorder. 

Their paths converge when they find themselves institutionalised together under the care of Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson), a psychiatrist specialising in individuals who believe they are superheroes. As the film unfolds, Dr. Staple attempts to convince the trio that their abilities are merely delusions.

Glass has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity on Netflix, including in the UK, where it was ranked seventh on the top ten list of films between March 25th and 31st. Glass has also secured places in the top ten in 18 countries, including Croatia, the Netherlands, and South Africa.