So if you had to ask me what exactly Bright is, then I would say imagine Lord of The Rings, Elves, Orc’s, Fairies and Centaur’s. Now add a buddy cop movie like Lethal Weapon and mix in shootouts, car crashes and plenty of fist fights then you get Bright. The story of Bright takes place in an alternative present day, where Humans, Orcs, Elves, and fairies have been coexisting since the dawn of time. Scott Ward played by Will Smith is partnered up with Nick Jakoby an Orc played by Joel Edgerton. Two police officers who embark on a routine night patrol, but it goes south when they discover a young female elf, who seems to be in possession of a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which, in the wrong hands, could bring back the lord of darkness that was banished over 2000 years ago.
Firstly ignore all of the critic reviews online, if they can give The Last Jedi 86% with a straight face and then give Bright 28% then they have zero credibility as reviewers. I honestly don’t get what the critics wanted from this movie? Then lying outright about it being the worst movie of 2017? Really? Did we forget about the Emoji movie or The Snowman? Or Al Pacino’s movie, The Hangman? All I can say to these critics is, they kind of missed the point. I don’t know whether they were expecting a different type of movie, or if this is because Netflix managed to produce a Hollywood quality movie on half the budget. This really is the future of cinema, streaming right into your home or wherever you are. And I think this scares these people, hence the hate for this movie.
I actually went into this without any expectations because of all the reviews shitting all over it. But then again that is my mistake for taking reviewers of any form of media seriously these days. The premise is pretty amazing for Bright, and for the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would not have thought up a similar idea before. But I am guessing they are too busy rebooting franchises that no one wants to make creative choices. This is basically a world 2,000 years after Lord of the Rings. Where Orcs, Fairies, Elves, Centaurs and all manner of fantasy creatures go about their daily lives. Considering the budget of this movie which was around $90 million you get some pretty good bang for your buck.
Solid special effects, great make-up and solid car chases and expensive looking set designs. Bright explores many core principles we are faced with in society today including bigotry, intolerance, acceptance, and redemption. Not to mention altruism and compromise. We live in a society where people judge you based on your looks, race or where you were born before you even open your mouth. And that is the core message being conveyed in Bright, where Orc’s are considered the lowest class in this fantasy society and as such gets pretty much treated like shit irrespective of their intentions. And while the movie touches on subjects like bigotry and racism when it comes to the Orc’s, it never becomes overly preachy.
The only thing the story really lacked for me was proper world building, I would have loved a 15-minute or so opening that explained how the world we see in Bright came to be and explaining the possible dark lord’s return at the hands of certain renegade Elves. I was very impressed with Joel Edgerton as Jakoby, he was the standout actor in the movie for me. Jakoby is meek and naive as a character but Joel Edgerton brings him to live brilliantly. The movie does a brilliant job showing Jakoby’s internal struggle having to pick a side to appease his partner or his own Orc race, yet deep down he knows it’s wrong to beat his own kind or shoot a human. It is the classic tale of the good to his core rookie cop that everyone hates because he’s different.
As for Will Smith’s acting, it is standard sort of Will Smith fare, not overly deep or complex but fun and entertaining. He plays the typical Will Smith character of MIB and Independence Day, however, he is just another beat cop having a really bad day. There wasn’t much character exposition when it comes to the two main characters I would have loved to know the reason why Jakoby was not blooded (Orc tradition) and why his teeth were filled off. Bright does suffer from what I call: “Sour face Will Smith syndrome”, which I think was intended as his character is pretty much a jaded cranky cop who’s been shot before and not keen on getting shot again. The combination of the story and the two actors makes for a very entertaining buddy cop movie.
Bright is a breath of fresh air, in an industry that is clearly intent on scraping the bottom of the barrel to remake cult classics thinking they can cash in on the nostalgia of the older generation. You love movies like Lord of the Rings with its high fantasy and all? Do you love buddy cop movies like Training Day, Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys? Then you will love this movie. Will Smith & Joel Edgerton have great on set chemistry in this movie, with some obvious plot twists and some entertaining surprises Brights story kept me entertained from start to finish. My only complaint is I was left with so many questions about the universe of Bright, I certainly hope they continue expanding the amazing universe of Bright because the possibilities are endless for this franchise.
[Editorial Note:] I honestly believe that this concept and story would have been better suited as a short mini-series or even a TV show. Hopefully, all of the hate Bright is getting from the critics do not kill this amazing concept.