If you can get past the bizarre concept of fantastic beings existing in our world then Bright manages to be hugely entertaining with plenty of hardcore action and two likable leads in Smith and Edgerton.
Plot: In an alternate present day, humans, orcs, elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time. Two police officers, one a human, the other an orc, embark on a routine night patrol that will alter the future of their world as they know it. Battling both their own personal differences as well as an onslaught of enemies, they must work together to protect a young female elf and a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which, in the wrong hands, could destroy everything.
Review: I never bothered watching this when it first came out a few months ago on Netflix due to the mostly dreadful reviews; it also just looked like a very silly concept but last night I figured it was time to give it a shot as it at least looked like something unique and I also just enjoy watching Will Smith.
I can very much understand why Bright got the poor reviews as you get the feeling it never really knows what genre it’s supposed to be; just look at Netflix and it has it under Action/Adventure/Sci-fi/Fantasy/Thriller and Crime.
Despite this though I still found myself enjoying Bright for what it was; yes it obviously had unsubtle social commentary about race and police corruption but it’s also at its heart a good old fashioned buddy movie.
Will Smith is his usual self but gets to be a bit of a dick when he is teamed up with a new partner who happens to be an Orc; I feel stupid even writing that but let’s move on. His partner Nick Jakoby is played by Joel Edgerton who I think is one of the best actors working today. He is a true chameleon in this movie totally unrecognisable under the impressive make-up. Shunned by his own race and fellow police officers Jakoby is the first Orc cop and plenty of people are unhappy about it including Ward (Smith). So we get the usual buddy movie bickering but it’s not exactly good natured banter with Ward being genuinely hostile towards Jakoby blaming him for being shot by another Orc.
When the two cops stumble upon a magic wand every bad guy in the city comes after them wanting the power for themselves, none more so than Noomi Rapace’s Leilah who wants to bring back The Dark Lord.
So it’s all quite ridiculous but is played (mostly) straight and for some reason I totally bought into it and really enjoyed the story as well as the hard R action of which there is plenty. We have fight scenes, shoot outs, explosions and more with plenty of bloodshed and dead bodies.
There is still plenty of humour though with some choice one-liners and Ward and Jakoby become a really likable duo who you will totally root for.
Visually it looks a little like Suicide Squad as it’s from the same director (David Ayer) who I am a big fan of; I think Bright is the better movie though as it isn’t trying to squeeze in so many characters and doesn’t feel like it’s been messed up by a studio. I loved the look of LA in this movie too where we have some fantasy style buildings intermingled with the real city giving it this familiar yet otherworldly look.
Overall, Bright is far better than I expected with plenty of violence and action, two great leads and a unique story that’s unlike anything we’ve really seen before. It will be hard to swallow for some and I totally get why you wouldn’t like it but I thought it was a lot of fun and welcome the sequel.