James Bond was yesterday. Daniel Craig’s new alter ego is Benoit Blanc. In the crime comedy sequel “Knives Out,” the former 007 actor plays the quirky detective with the weird Southern accent for a second time. “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is the name of the new film, which will only be shown in selected cinemas for a short period of time and will then be available on the Netflix streaming service from Christmas. In his new case, Craig aka Blanc ends up on the private island of a seedy tech billionaire.

chatting in the tub

But first, the investigator is bored during the pandemic. In the bathtub, he zooms in on chatting with friends, including recently deceased Murder Is Her Hobby icon Angela Lansbury as herself in her last role, and tells them his frustration. But then a mysterious box arrives at Blanc. It contains an invitation from billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton). During a weekend on his luxurious island in Greece, Blanc is assigned to solve a fictional murder case. But as soon as he arrives, something is strange.

Bron has invited his old clique over, who have since drifted apart a bit. Ex-model Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) mourns her youth and keeps making blunders on social media, dubious internet star Duke Cody (Dave Bautista) hopes for her big breakthrough, Claire Debella (Kathryn Hahn) has had a steep political career , and Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.) works for one of Bron’s companies on a revolutionary energy-harvesting technology. Andi Brand (pop star Janelle Monáe), who once forced Bron out of the joint venture with dirty means, also appears.

It goes without saying that the fictitious murder doesn’t stop there. On the very first evening there is a real death. But was the victim actually the target? Benoit Blanc gets to work and tries to bring light into the darkness. The investigator from the southern states – Craig has a funny accent again in the original English version – has been observing his old friends ever since he arrived at the luxury property and has noticed that everyone has a proverbial skeleton in the closet – and therefore everyone is a suspect.

Only briefly in the cinema

Like the predecessor “Knives Out”, crime fan Rian Johnson has shot “Glass Onion”, a whodunnit in the style of old Agatha Christie films. Due to the beautiful scenery and the pleasantly sunny holiday atmosphere on the island, memories of Guy Hamilton’s “Evil Under the Sun” (1982) occasionally come to mind, in which Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot was looking for a murderer on Mallorca.

Daniel Craig, who is apparently happy that his time as James Bond is over, clearly enjoys the character of Blanc. This joy of playing is carried over. It’s just wonderful to watch how the extravagantly dressed detective seems to be overwhelmed in some interpersonal situations and goes through some clumsy moments while analyzing his surroundings and cleverly combining them. In addition, the audience learns interesting and amusing details about his private life.

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is peppered with sophisticated dialogues, countless little gags, allusions, Easter eggs, cameos and details that you only notice when you watch it repeatedly. In fact, even if you already know the resolution and a few surprising twists of the story, this crime thriller wins even more. Unfortunately, “Glass Onion” can only be seen in cinemas for one week, from December 23 then on the Netflix streaming service, which also secured the rights for a planned third part.

In contrast to the first “Knives Out”, which – like Johnson’s “Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi” and some of his other works – sometimes seemed a bit tough and dry, the sequel is staged briskly and more colorful than its predecessor. Despite running for more than two hours, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” is very entertaining and, not least thanks to Daniel Craig and his co-stars, is great fun. A wonderfully old-fashioned film pleasure that deserves significantly more time than just a week in the cinema.

– Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, USA 2022, 139 minutes, FSK 6, by Rian Johnson, with Daniel Craig, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn.