Bright (2017) – Review

Bright is available on Netflix beginning December 22nd.

Just a few years ago, a big-budget fantasy flick would be a major theater release, but in 2017, the Will Smith-starring Bright is heading straight to Netflix. Reports say the streaming service spent $90 million on this action movie set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans. Unfortunately, the nearly two hour film is pretty dreadful, with only a few redeeming qualities.

The concept is simple at first: A human cop (Will Smith) is forced to work with an Orc (Joel Edgerton). Bright explores a fictional version of Los Angeles, where the city is divided into four sections: humans, orcs, fairies, and elves. It was interesting seeing director David Ayer’s vision of the gritty surroundings. I happened to like the ascetic of his previous movie, Suicide Squad, but many will hate on the color palate and tone.

As the story moves forward, however, Bright becomes dragged down in its horrid mythology. 2,000 years ago there was some major conflict between the races, there’s three magic wands hidden around the city, and a prophecy is somehow involved as well. The universe building is too expositional and quite frankly just bad. Shockingly, a sequel has already been greenlit, so I guess this aspect will become even more fleshed out.

Surprisingly, Bright is a hard R rating. The script is pretty gratuitous with f-bombs, and I found that off putting. The gritty police drama mixed with magical creatures feels undeniably weird and is a failed genre mashup.

While not the total dumpster fire some critics would have you believe, Bright is by no means a hit. It makes good background noise though.

I give Bright a C.