Really, the less said about the actual plot, the better — everyone deserves to go into the film unspoiled. “Glass Onion” exchanges the cozy aristocratic manor house for a glitzy Greek private island: Less “The Mousetrap,” more “Death on the Nile.” Miles Bron (Edward Norton, in a send-up of tech bros like Elon Musk) invites a group of his closest friend to a glamorous weekend getaway in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown. The theme is “murder mystery,” and his guests (among them, a prominent scientist, a politician, a model-turned-fast-fashion-mogul, and a men’s rights activist with a thriving social media following) must solve his “murder.” Predictably, things soon take a lethal turn. But not to worry: Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig, returning and having the time of his life) has received a mysterious invitation to this party, and is soon on the case.
To say much more would give too much away, but suffice it to say, “Glass Onion” captures so many of the elements that made the first film an unexpected hit. Although it features a different visual language, moving from the world of an eccentric WASP’s over-stuffed New England mansion to a cold and, at times, absurdly modern Mediterranean estate, it is unwavering in its commitment to skewering the elite. The heart of these films is in its framing of the ruling class as hypocritical and inherently corrupt. Where the murder mystery genre that “Glass Onion” pays tribute to often glamorizes the wealthy elite (even while shining a light on their social ills), “eat the rich” is very much the lens through which to view both of these films.