I’ve been waiting a couple of days to write my review of BRIGHT because it’s a movie I am having a tough time forming an opinion on. On one hand, it’s a cool concept of mixing our real gritty world with fantasy elements, creatures, and magic (basically Bad Boys meets Lord of the Rings) and it is actually very entertaining with some great visuals and action effects. On the other hand, the dialogue in this film is so horrifically bad with every cop cliche again done to death and the main good elf is basically ripping off LeeLoo from The Fifth Element. I also had a couple of problems for the locations of some of the action scenes as well (But we’ll get to that later). Ultimately, I am going to recommend this based on the fact that I was throughly entertained, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton did a great job with their roles, and that it has to potential to really be something masterful when the sequel is made. You just have to get past the shitty, awful fucking dialogue.
Bright stars Will Smith as a cop, that has an Orc for a partner, the only Orc on the police force. Smith is coming back from an incident where he got shot and some say his Orc partner let the perp go because the gunman was an Orc and they have this blooded Orc code or whatever. Anyway, humans live peacefully uneasily with Orcs and Elves after all of them had fought for thousands of years. It is revealed that in these thousands of years that a Dark Lord was the ultimate bad guy/nemesis and he is proficized to come back when three magic wands are joined together by beings that can actually hold and use them with their bare hands without just immediately exploding (these beings are known as Brights). Will Smith and Edgerton come across a elf played by Lucy Fry, who happens to have one of these wands of power.
I won’t get into plot specifics here either, because there are actually some really cool reveals in the film. There is one part near the beginning in particular, where Will Smith has a choice to do something really bad or really good, and the scene was shocking and did not end the way I thought it would. That scene is probably my favorite in the film and showed if the writing were tweaked for the rest of the film like it was here it could’ve been masterful. There are some cool shoot outs as well, cool special effects, cool car chases. And don’t let it being on Netflix fool you, if this were released in theaters, it would be a hard rated R. There is a lot of cursing, a lot of blood and gut violence, and even some random nudity. I really liked the atmosphere and the grittiness of the picture. The tone was near perfect.
However, some of the plot threads and locations really didn’t work for me. It’s supposed to be this cool world with our human race mixed with Orc’s and Elves, but you are telling me that every shootout/chase/etc. had to take place in an abandoned building or a strip club? Like there are not ancient castles or cool mountainous valleys anywhere we could’ve went to? (I’m guessing possibly the sequel). Also, most of the movie is really predictable, we are told that one human in a million could end up being a Bright, and if that line of dialogue doesn’t wring your obvious foreshadow predictable bell of who that might be…well then this movie is really for you and I can’t help you.
The dialogue in general is really bad. Everything that is said and all the jokes and one-liners we have heard before, and we didn’t chuckle or laugh the first time they were said. “They didn’t teach us that in training.” I mean, really? That’s like a 13 year old writing a screenplay and can’t figure out any clever so just puts in filler to be able to turn his assignment on time. And Lucy Fry’s elf character is basically LeeLoo from the Fifth Element, spouting off Elf jibberish, being scared most of the time, but also coming out with some kung fu bad ass moments. It seems like the script didn’t have any proofreading and the first draft was just submitted and accepted. If Netflix had ordered a script retooling, this thing could’ve been a really great movie and one of Will Smith’s best in awhile.
This is coming from the writer and director of Suicide Squad (David Ayer) and at least this film is much, much, much, much better than that. That was unwatchable garbage, this was actually a bit of fun. I do hope that the sequel is a little more planned out with a tighter script. People said that this would make a good television show. I agree, as long as it was on HBO or Showtime and kept all of the R rated grittiness. But I’m kind of glad it is a movie so that way I don’t have to keep up each week. If everyone involved tries to make an even better film next time, the future could be really bright for this Netflix franchise.