Bright Film Review

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
December 21st, 2017

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Bright

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On December 21, 2017
Last modified:December 27, 2017

Summary:

I went into Bright (2017) excited for the original take on modern society but left feeling unsatisfied with the ultra-safe route taken. David Ayer's Bright is not the disaster everyone has claimed. Instead, it just doesn't know what it wants to be. 

Review of: Bright

Reviewed by:
Rating:

2
On December 21, 2017
Last modified:December 27, 2017

Summary:

I went into Bright (2017) excited for the original take on modern society but left feeling unsatisfied with the ultra-safe route taken. David Ayer's Bright is not the disaster everyone has claimed. Instead, it just doesn't know what it wants to be. 

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Bright Film Review

Dir: David Ayer; Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace,Lucy Fry, Édgar Ramírez, Ike Barinholtz, Happy Anderson, Kenneth Choi, Margaret Cho, Andrea Navedo, Brad William Henke, Dawn Olivieri , Brandon Larracuente, Matt Gerald, Enrique Murciano, Jay Hernandez, Veronica Ngo, Nadia Gray 12A cert, 119 min

David Ayer is arguably the most controversial but well-established director, who has released a couple of misfires in his career but his best work is End of Watch. The buddy cop film got praised for its depiction of modern American police and the violence faced on an authentic level. It was the fascinating movie in his catalog.

Suicide Squad (2016) on the over hand was disastrous receiving negative reviews with critics, all pointing fingers at the plot and overall direction which felt mismanaged. Ayer expressed regret for the anticipated release and set out to focus on creating more original projects, which led him to work with Netflix.

Netflix is teaming up with the director for a first big-budget buddy cop adventure in Bright (2017), with unusual fantasy twists, set to push the company further into the global streaming domination. Set to be the first chapter in Netflix jump into Hollywood, paving the way for the future of cinema experiences, and putting David Ayer in charge of the movement is a strange idea. But there was a silver lining for the controversial director, as the Max Landis script for Bright (2017) read like the dream movie to many in the industry. David Ayer could have the next big hit on his hands, and perhaps he finally got the right light? Let's find out in our official review for Bright.

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Credit: Netflix

In an alternate present where humans and fantasy creatures—Orcs, Fairies, Elves, Centaurs, Dwarves etc.—have co-existed since the beginning of time, human LAPD officer Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and Orc rookie officer Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) embark on a routine patrol night, only to discover an ancient—but powerful—artifact: a magic wand, that was thought to be destroyed, and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it.

David Ayer brings new twists to the idea in Bright (2017) a high concept project, which brings together: fantasy creatures including orcs, and elves into modern day Los Angeles. Bright takes influences from the outstanding District 9, and Tolkien’s Middle Earth franchise, while being a surprisingly original Netflix film release.

Bright (2017) is a deeply flawed movie, but the originality should be enough to amount fans for a couple of hours. The borderline incompressible pace and misinformed editing techniques don't work in the favor but are not the disaster various critics have claimed it to be. I enjoyed it despite these issues with the banter between Joel Egerton and Will Smith on another level, their scenes are great, but the surrounding characters fail into generic categories.

Credit: Netflix

The ethnic differences in this metropolis are pointed at from the opening, as Orcs lived in the underclass and segregated from the public (with references to "Orc Lives Matter," relevant to issues in our society). Elves live to the fullest in glitzy and extravagant houses, owning the best cars (pretty much the rich people). Humans live in the middle and work in ordinary jobs including police departments, but are looked down upon by Elves and Orcs.

David Ayer (Suicide Squad) points at these more significant issues with glee but sadly ends up squandering an excellent idea for unnecessary action and frankly laughable dialogue. Bright (2017) focuses on LAPD officers and continues the trend of placing chalk-and-cheese partners together. Including Will Smith's Ward - the sharp-tongued and grumpy but is a decent man - paired with Nick Jakoby, the first orc police officer ostracised due to strict prejudice to his kind. Joel Edgerton's Nick grows a connection to Ward and gets them entangled in an adventure.

Credit: Netflix

The plot is where things fall apart in Bright, as screenwriter Max Landis's script relies too heavily on a boring magic wand MacGuffin, which drives the entire two-hour movie forward.  Ward and Jakoby team up with the mysterious elf waif (Lucy Fry), who is essential to uncovering the wand's powers but gets given little screen time, instead is just an excuse for hiring make up artists. Perhaps a more "End of Watch" inspired structure would have allowed for a streamlined film, tackling the strong themes included in its rugged opening minutes.

The established ideas are so precious and should have been explored correctly instead David Ayer backs away from exploring the racial charged Los Angeles in the right manner. The banter between Ward and Jakoby alone could have made the film work better, as I enjoyed the performances from both actors. Focusing on uninspired action, forced and annoying gritty aesthetics which come at odds with the exciting: Faries, Orcs, and Elves.

I went into Bright (2017) excited for the original take on modern society but left feeling unsatisfied with the ultra-safe route taken. David Ayer's Bright is not the disaster everyone has claimed. Instead, it just a film which doesn't know what it wants to be.

2/5

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Bright

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I went into Bright (2017) excited for the original take on modern society but left feeling unsatisfied with the ultra-safe route taken. David Ayer's Bright is not the disaster everyone has claimed. Instead, it just doesn't know what it wants to be. 

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One Comment

  1. Well I watched it. And it wasn’t half bad! Sure I would have liked a bit more backstory development and the ending seemed a bit rushed, but overall it was a fun date night movie. Will Smith did better here than in Suicide Squad. Critics hated that one too, but it made a zillion dollars so obviously they’re gonna hate it. Why listen it anything these conceited blowhards say anyway? How many critics you know have made a blockbuster movie? Not every fantasy/super hero movie is gonna be a Dark Knight. And I wasn’t crazy about Wonder Woman (which most critics loved). I respect all opinions but the critics come from a critical perspective that has very little to do with whether a film is entertaining or not. That depends very much on the individual.

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