Monday, December 25, 2017


Movie Name: Bright
Year of Release: 2017
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez, Lucy Fry, Veronica Ngo, Alex Meraz, Happy Anderson, Ike Barinholtz, Margaret Cho, Jay Hernandez, Matt Gerald, Dawn Olivieri
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 1
View Trailer

Director David Ayer is back, following the tepid response of his big blockbuster effort, "Suicide Squad". He sticks to the adventure/fantasy genre with "Bright", the first big budget feature film hailing from streaming giant Netflix. The film takes place in an alternate universe, where humans co-exist with Orcs, Elves, in a crime infested Los Angeles. The story focuses on veteran police officer Daryl Ward, who has an Orc as a partner, officer Nik Jakoby. When the film begins we are introduced to a situation where Ward has been shot in the line of duty, while his partner was paying attention to something else, allowing the perpetrator to escape. Now back in active duty, everyone wants Jakoby out, and tensions run high. When both police officers get called out to an incident, they get involved with an elf running with a magic wand, something that has tremendous power, and is coveted by everyone. It's up to these officers to escape everyone's persecution, and salvage the wand.
"Bright" was written by Max Landis (and heavily re-written according to multiple reports), who was responsible for the underrated "Chronicle", and in its concept, has the potential to be interesting - different species co-existing in an urban, dangerous landscape, much like Jack Sholder's "The Hidden". However, as tampered by David Ayer, the film attempts to marry his style (he made a name for himself with the gritty dramas, "Training Day" and "End of Watch"), with a more fantastical universe, producing results that are not quite engaging or sensical for that matter. The characters are once again paper thin, without much characterization, and whatever humor there is, comes mostly at the cost of Joel Edgerton's character as he attempts to conform to the human patterns and behaviors. The metaphors for racial tension in this film are bluntly utilized, and the film has incongruent action set pieces where there are car chases in seemingly deserted roads in the middle of Los Angeles. Also supporting characters show up and disappear, without much sense to their contribution to the story itself. Will Smith usually reliable and intense in his performances, dials it in, seemingly aware that this film is quickly dispensable. Here's hoping the next Netflix endeavor is a better one.