Will Smith has done it all. He’s battled Aliens (Men In Black), been a superhero (Hancock) and even been a con man (Focus) so naturally, he would end up starring in a fantasy action thriller at some point in his career. Luckily he’s done just that, starring in the straight-to-Netflix film Bright. When I read that Bright would be set in a world where “fantasy creatures live with humans” I immediately thought of Bad Boys meets Lord of the Rings, which sounded amazing. But in reality, it’s nothing like it. Don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing.
Bright is definitely a fantasy action thriller, but one that is far more grounded in its appearance (picture a modern day Los Angeles with more human looking Orcs, if that’s possible) there is hardly any CGI on the locations, which was weird at first because I have never seen these types of creatures put in a “real world” location. Orcs playing basketball, for example. As I said earlier though, the Orcs are a much more “normal” looking as opposed to their LOTR counterparts, which does make it easier to digest.
The film centres around Daryl (Will Smith) and his rookie Orc partner Nick (Joel Edgerton) trying to stop a bunch of evil elves from using a magic wand to bring back The Dark Lord, who would then destroy all life, because he can. Aside from the look of the film, It’s a straight-forward plot that starts off slow but then becomes quite fun. The action comes really thick and fast. Nearly every other scene is an epic gunfight, where the camera is right up in the actor’s faces. The director David Ayer doing what did in End of Watch (2012) with huge success. Because it really does put you, the viewer, right in the action.
Smith and Edgerton are brilliant in their roles. Their characters partnership is tested (you’ll know why after the first scene) and this makes for great viewing. Not much can be said for the rest of the cast, however. Noomi Rapace barely gets any screen time, and when she does, she’s just frantically fighting anything in her way. I liked Lucy Fry’s character Tikka, but again I felt she could have been used more, as opposed to being carried around (literally in some cases)
Overall the film is just okay. The action is great but the story is a little weird and sometimes confusing. I think more backstory could have been given to The Dark Lord and what he’s done before. This could have been a flashback scene or something because it never feels like something terrible could happen. Later on in the film, something does happen but it doesn’t come as a surprise (this is because it’s hinted at really early on) You gotta hold back on these little plot hints people!
If you have Netflix then you might as well watch it because if anything Bright has laid the groundwork for Netflix’s future original films. All we need now is a touch of refinement. Maybe we’ll get that in the sequel?