(TNS) – The key word in “Glass Onion,” Rian Johnson’s enjoyably deft sequel to “Knives Out,” is “disruption.” The friends who’ve descended on a Greek island paradise are game-changing innovators in the fields of fashion (Kate Hudson), science (Leslie Odom Jr.), politics (Kathryn Hahn) and toxic masculinity (Dave Bautista). Their host is a smug, name-dropping, eminently punchable billionaire whose resemblance to a certain newly installed social media titan could scarcely have been better planned or timed. And, of course, a post-007 Daniel Craig is back in the mix as Blanc, Benoit Blanc, that genteel charmer of a Southern sleuth who can always be counted on to disrupt a killer’s scheme, even as he serves to anchor what has become an improbably solid franchise.
The keys to that franchise now belong to Netflix, and talk about disruption! “Knives Out,” released three Thanksgivings ago, became a smash hit and suggested there was hope yet for smart, funny original movies in theaters. I suspect “Glass Onion” would have done the same had it been given the chance; instead, it’ll play for just a week in 600 U.S. theaters before it starts streaming Dec. 23, just in time to give Netflix a nice Christmas subscriber boost. It also feels like a criminal disservice to the movie, an audience picture through and through, whose slyly tuned jokes and ingenious surprises are worth discovering with a crowd.