Welcome to the world where mystical creatures live and work together side by side. In this world, there are many mystical creatures among us such as Orcs, Elves and Faires. In this story, a human police officer, Daryl (Will Smith), is forced to partner up with Nick, an Orc (played Joel Edgerton). Nick is the 1st Orc to wear the badge of the law. As Daryl and Nick spend one evening together on the job, they soon discover a new weapon and a person of interest that everyone is prepared to kill for. Can they work together and survive the long night?
Couple of things I loved about this film from the get-go. Firstly, I found it rather exciting to see Netflix exclusively release this film straight to our flat screens. Secondly, the film actually has some big names for lead actors and is also supported by a well-known director (David Ayer who recently delivered Suicide Squad). The concept and plot alone also shows huge promise and excitement for what the future could be for home entertainment.
Bright does having many positive points but also some disappointments for me personally. As a film, I was truly impressed by the film’s idea (story concept) and its characters. Actor Joel Edgerton as an Orc is truly unrecognizable. While his character is a little weak, his work in the makeup department and acting is awesome. There were only a couple of lines of dialogue that actually reminded me that I was watching Joel Edgerton under a mask. Will Smith, as expected, is the same old Will Smith. In fact, it’s not the 1st time Will Smith has worn a police uniform, quoting panic dialogue when under pressure. While the plot and our two lead characters show so many promises, it’s also one of the film’s biggest weakness.
The relationships between our two leads characters is a rocky one. It’s a partner relationship that has very little trust and contains constant debates and arguments. The film script between the two also overuses foul language to the point where it became just too much to hear. As mentioned, the film’s story and concept is a great idea, but on screen it’s a mess. The film doesn’t really explain or provide any depth to the world that the audience would be keen to know more about. How did the world become this way? How did the world react to an Orc becoming a police officer, why are Faires so bad and why must they must be killed on the spot? Instead, we watch our characters go from A to B, B to C as they run and hide or run and fight. Films like Training Day and End Of Watch also comes to mind, as this film provides a very similar pace and structure, just different characters (Orcas, Fairies etc). For movie fans who love a fantasy story without wanting to know more, they will simply enjoy the ride that Bright is. For me, this film comes across as a little too slow with the plot that keeps feeling like it’s made up as the film goes along. Certain elements to the film occur with very little information or reason behind it and you can simply accept it or dislike it. Our Villains here are also somewhat laughable and they really enjoy doing backflips for no reason other than…well I guess because they can.
Bright is a film that had so much potential, but for me personally it never quite delivered a film that could have been amazing. With such a great concept in story and characters, instead, the film goes down the path of being similar to other films we have seen before such as Training Day or End Of Watch. The relationship between our leads is painful to watch, considering the film goes for almost 2 hours…the development between our heroes never really grows into anything different or better off from where the film first started. It’s exciting to see Netflix delivering new content with actors and directors that we would normally expect to see in our local cinema. Hopefully this is beginning of more to come with some improvements ahead.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden