Commentary: ‘Glass Onion’ And Sherlock Holmes

by Frank Martin

With the release of Glass Onion, the Knives Out franchise is certainly setting itself up as a unique player in the murder mystery genre. This is mostly due to the fact that the two movies are linked by a single character: Daniel Craig‘s Benoit Blanc. He was introduced in the first film as a quirky and unorthodox, but effective, detective. There are no hints in the first film that the character would return for a follow-up, but that is exactly what writer/director Rian Johnson ended up doing. If this trend is to continue, this could be a franchise that has Craig’s character bouncing from mystery to mystery with no connection from one story to the next.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s very similar to what Sherlock Holmes does. All of the Holmes stories are standalone, only linked by Sherlock’s involvement in them. It’s also hard not to notice a similarities between Benoit Blanc and Sherlock Holmes. They are both eccentric detectives cursed with the gift of observation and deduction. This is seen in Glass Onion‘s opening moments with Blanc in a bathtub smoking a cigar while desperately trying to play Among Us with friends during the 2020 pandemic lockdown. Besides their careers and quirkiness, though, the similarities end there.

What’s also interesting is seeing the similarities between the stories themselves. The Holmes stories are mainly detective stories. Sherlock arrives at a case and the story follows him as he unfolds it. Knives Out and Glass Onion are different. Although Blanc tries to figure out the mystery at the heart of the story, he is not the main character or protagonist the same way Sherlock is. Instead, the players in the mystery themselves and their relationships are the core of these stories. Blanc is merely a force of nature placed in the middle of everything to move the plot along. It’s an interesting formula that hopefully will continue into the future.

Glass Onion is now streaming on Netflix.

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