“Glass Onion” begins by introducing us to our new cast of characters/suspects. There’s high-strung Senate candidate Claire (Kathryn Hahn); immensely clueless model turned fashion designer Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson) and her assistant Peg (Jessica Henwick); Duke (Dave Bautista), a men’s rights activist with a huge online following; Duke’s girlfriend Whiskey (Madelyn Cline); and Lionel (Leslie Odom Jr.), a scientist who works for a billion-dollar tech company. The tech company is owned by billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), who is connected to all of these characters. And then there’s Andi (Janelle Monáe), Miles’ former business partner who had a falling out with Miles that resulted in a nasty court case.
All of these characters are invited to Miles’ private island for a weekend getaway. This is something he does with this group of friends every year, and this year, he wants to stage a murder mystery party. And who better to invite along than Benoit Blanc? Johnson plops the film firmly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Blanc, who has been sheltering in place (remember when we did that?) has grown restless. He needs a case, and he jumps at the chance of heading to Mile’s island, even if it’s for a fake murder.
You can probably guess where this is going: the fake murder turns into a real one. But who gets bumped off, and how, I shall not say. The joys of “Glass Onion” involve the plot twists and shocking-but-hilarious revelations Johnson keeps throwing at us at breakneck speed. Every scene is loaded with lightning-sharp wit coupled with a genuinely engrossing mystery. Like Blanc, we’re hooked on the idea of solving this mystery.