“Glass Onion” is the quintessential movie of the Elon Musk era

For the past decade, film has been dominated by one bad guy: his techno bro. Since Mark Zuckerberg to Jesse Eisenberg in social networkYou’ll notice it everywhere.

There is Samuel L Jackson Kingsman: The Secret ServiceTaika Waititi V free manOscar Isaac V machine exMark Rylance in do not searchAnd download more besides. It’s not new. Sports wardrobe, God complex, bastard heart. Instinctively, we hate these guys.

glass onionMiles Bron is something else. Edward Norton plays the co-founder of Alpha Industries with a mixture of near-spiritual earnestness, a particularly fragile kind of self-belief and sick smugness that feels all too familiar. But the Rian Johnson movie says something different with its tech guy.

First: Miles definitely smells like Elon Musk. He has musk. I know we’ve all been spending a lot more time in Musk’s orbit lately than we’d like, but that doesn’t seem like a timing coincidence; More importantly, Miles’ company Alpha Industries has a space exploration wing. Being so specific is unusual, and Johnson found it very difficult to write about.

“The fact that Bron is a tech billionaire — which made a lot of sense for the story — became a writing hurdle,” Johnson told Deadline. “Because I don’t think I even have to say names, there are some obvious real-world analogues.” And the moment I started thinking about any From her specifically, it got boring pretty quickly. And so, separating him from that, and trying to build him up as his own kind of clownish character, became the challenge.”

“My take on this was really knowing Miles is a cut-out character of a very specific kind,” Edward Norton added. “They’re all around us these days, and they’re getting really cheery. So, for me, the job was with Rian to pick and choose the perfect characteristics to send a certain type of person over.”


For “a certain kind of person,” read “a certain person.” It’s a little frustrating glass onion It was written far too long before Musk bought Twitter, called for the prosecution of Anthony Fauci, and oversaw a flood of previously (and rightly so) banned charlatans who returned to the platform, toyed with conspiracy theories and began banning accounts that tracked his private jet. But it really was.

It’s been the unrelated Facebook/Meta/Zuckerberg that has talked about moving fast and breaking things, but that spirit of recklessness in the name of some higher connections seems to have become possessive of Musk in the past six months or so.

This is the part of it that is most clearly captured in Miles. He’s so jumpy on his genius and hung on to his legacy that he’s willing to bomb the entire world with his magic but nowhere near the safe fuel, Klear. Shot the Hindenburg. Let Karnak come back to Twitter. Safety for nerds.

Like I say, there have been a lot of tech bad guys in the last 10 years, and most of them have a fairy tale à la Icarus. Riz Ahmed specifically played the role of Misky poison As Carlton Drake, a man obsessed with jumping ship from this sick world and colonizing the stars. He got a lift with his rocket at the end.

But glass onion He goes somewhere a little different. Yes, Claire destroys it and destroys the vandals. Furthermore, there’s Musk’s cute sarcasm and sarcasm here, built in at the end by the people clinging to him.

There’s would-be senator Claire, men’s rights advocate and Twitch streamer Duke, villainous influencer Birdie and deranged scientist Lionel. All of them depend on his patronage to move their careers forward, driven more by a fear of being left behind than by a sincere commitment to Miles’ increasingly incoherent outlook.

More so, they refer to the various groups that tend to form the power base of the Stocratic Brotherhood. There are always idealists who want to believe that this boy wonder will be the one who will truly change the world. There are always politicians who are happy to indulge in utopian visions while ignoring eye-catching tax arrangements or precarious business practices. There are always naive and/or cynical talking heads who are eager to get caught up in someone else’s rant as long as it helps them change their attitude.

And the, What a surpriseIt turns out that this group of old friends has their hands on each other’s throats all the time. This is where the story of the cautionary tech brethren takes a turn. Usually, they get a direct type of punishment.

But it is not only Miles’ ego that destroys him. It’s a realization among his supporters that supporting him isn’t worth their time anymore. They look from one to the other, and realize that despite his promises of a future built on Claire, they had the power all along.

How much power any of us have over technocrats operating like global city-states is a moot point. But glass onion It is a reminder that they need our naivety to get to the top.

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