Review: The Reason Why “Bright” Was So Dim
Will Smith starring in an action fantasy thriller? Of course, we’re all excited to see that.
Bright had a lot of things going for it as soon as it was announced. A movie that was painted as Netflix’s big dive into the world of blockbusters starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Repace and more; it was almost too good to be true.
This leads to the first problem the movie gripes with and it’s a very subtle one that doesn’t become obvious until much later–Expectations. From a studio like Netflix which has such an amazing track record to decide to make a film with an actor like Will Smith–who is no stranger to the action or fantasy genre– the stakes were higher than ever from the start.
Bright tells the story of a cop named Scott Ward (Will Smith) and his Orc partner Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), in this world all creatures– humans, orcs and elves– have learnt to coexist but this doesn’t necessarily mean they live in peace and harmony. The elves are the high class and are at the peak of society, the humans are the middle class and the Orcs are regarded as the scum of the earth because of their innate violent nature.
This creates some friction between Scott and the rest of the human cops especially regarding his partner who is the only known Orc cop. Events take place and they find a female elf with a wand–which in this world is rare because magic is almost extinct– and find themselves protecting her from creatures who want to kill her and take the wand for themselves.
Bright uses the differences between the creatures and the way they are perceived and treated to address a lot of the racial, sexual and socio-political issues that exist in the world today. This is the strongest theme of the movie and therein lies the problem. You do not need to create a movie about fantasy creatures to explore this theme but if you must create a movie with these creatures, it is important that you focus on the nature of the creatures themselves.
In the end, what Bright offers to fans was a movie with fantasy characters with little or no fantasy. If you’re seeing the movie for some cool action sequences and the classic “Will Smithy” banter, this movie is definitely for you, but if you want a movie that takes it’s time to explore the boundaries of an unknown universe, just walk away from Bright.