Isn’t it nice how enemies unite through a shared hatred for a common villain?
It certainly is in the Netflix commissioned Sci-fi film Bright.
Bright fancifully features our planet comprised with orcs, elves and humans (+other magical creatures) living as one.
NOT really as one though given the Orcs low ranking status, humans sitting as middlemen and Elves reigning supreme. (Lord of the Rings style).
Elves are magical though so of course they’d sit on top of this futuristic society.
It is pretty difficult in this world, as in life generally, to rise above your assigned species station.
Still it’s NOT impossible as Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) demonstrates via his blundering role as Policeman.
Orcs are a touch too slow for fast paced police work, after all.
We meet Jakoby and his partner Ward (Will Smith) on an assignment. When Jakoby buys Ward a burrito, Ward becomes distracted from ‘the mission’ and ultimately shot by a criminal Orc.
Consequently Ward is out of action for a while.
During this period malicious gossiping transpires amongst authorities suggesting Jakoby let the Orc ‘go’ due to his overarching loyalty to clan law (apparently a thing).
So Ward now finally healed, and equally species-ist, returns to work to be yet again assigned Jakoby as a partner.
Ward is furious and immediately advocates for a change of partner.
Ultimately this raises race relation and the inundated hate and distrust for persons NOT like you.
UNLESS they’re better then you, that is, and can offer you something ‘more’- like the revered Elves.
On mission Ward and Jakoby arrest a vagabond who prosthesis the Dark Lord will return and that Ward is ‘blessed’.
This sees our two cops encounter:
- rabid cops — who salivate over ‘magic’,
- a rogue elf Tikka (Lucy Fry) who is trying to prevent the Dark Lord’s return,
- magical wands and the magic department, and
- the prised ‘bright’ (aptly named) ability of a non-elf being able to hold a wand, receive it’s power and NOT die.
The story itself is interesting and shares enough commonalities with Lord of the Rings to enable considerable species lore to be brushed over.
However, it drags on and on.
And even with the sharp imagery and good use of colour the film by the end is monotonous.
Clearly Will Smith is a muse of sorts to Director David Ayer given his casting in both this and Suicide Squad. This is a shame as Smith is NOT great in either and in the same vein as Suicide Squad he brings this movie down.
He does this in tandem with the terrible dialogue:
Neighbor: Yo, that Fairy been all up in my crib, eating up my dog food and shit. I’m about to call the city, man.
Daryl Ward: I *am* the city. All right? You save your dime. Fairy lives don’t matter today.
The concept of Bright plays like a TV series and given the films Netflix financing I could see it continuing on a series.
This would be a much better fit to allow proper historical expansion of the world, delve into the race issues and keep the narrative engaging.
Unfortunately given the consistent poor reviews Bright might not get the chance to do this.
So if you can get over Smith’s unbearable performance the first hour is enjoyable. Sadly, the second half (despite its prevalent magical offering) fails to captivate.
I give it 35/100 ‘I think we might be in a Prophecy’.
- The elves are as beautiful as always.
- The colours and scene cuts are well done.
- Jakoby’s character demands more grit given his upbringing and the continued hate he receives.
- Smith is atrocious.
- The second half of the film needed sharpening up.