Bright is an urban fantasy action crime film directed and produced by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. The film stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Édgar Ramírez and Ike Barinholtz. This is Netflix’s first big-budget film to be released on their platform.
The Story/The Direction:
The story takes place in a time where humans live with orcs, centaurs, and elves. They do not live in harmony but they are peaceful. The plot follows a Los Angeles police officer, Daryl Ward (Smith) who teams up with an Orc rookie (Edgerton). Their partnership is forced on each other as all buddy cop films would tell them to. They don’t care or even like each other and are obviously very different. One night they stumble on a rare magic wand and they realize they must work together to keep it out of the hands of the dark elf Leilah (Rapace). From a structural standpoint, this film is Ayer’s End of Watch with a little bit of The Lord of the Rings thrown in. Ayer is able to provide some great action scenes with decent tension from time to time. They are fast and hard and Ayer continues to show that he is able to portray urban life as gritty as it needs to be.
The main stars do decently in this film especially Edgerton who does a fantastic job performing as Jakoby through his heavy makeup. He is the essentially the nice guy that is pulled in two different directions. The orcs want him to remember where he came from but he wants to try to bridge the conflict between the human and orc race. He wants to prove that all he wants to do is be a police officer no matter if they are constantly looking down on him. Smith is doing pretty much the same thing as he does in most of his action movies which can be plus or a minus depending on who you are. He is a good action star and delivers some great one-liners. Rapace is able to deliver an impressive performance on a physical level.
Where this film somewhat falters is its execution of its message. It is a decent message but it’s not a unique one. It is a heavy topic and will definitely bring up conversations about cops and race but this film only applies to a new race of beings and it’s not subtle at all. Early on in the film, Ward utters "fairy lives don't matter today," before killing a fairy tells the audience exactly what type of movie this will be. Again, this is not to say this is a bad message but the execution seems off. The plot also is pretty formulaic. In addition, some the characters aren’t that great. Fry as Tikka is not that interesting and Leilah is a villain who only wants to get an item so she can do something evil with it.
This film does take the audience to a world that is very interesting and enjoyable to see. This world can be explored more in future films that do not necessarily have to involve these main characters. The overall message is not that clever or unique and the plot is fairly predictable. However, it is still a good action buddy cop thriller that is worth a watch on Netflix.
Rating: 3.0/5.0 bowties
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