Ok well while I try to stay active between working myself to death and recovering over the christmas period and getting ready for my trip I watched Bright on christmas day and it was alright.
Err ok well I wouldn’t even be writing this if I didn’t want to tear it apart and of course I do. I only really write about a movie if it does something so horrible it has to be recorded. Although we did watch Krampus after that and that was actually a great all round christmas movie. It looked great and was a lot of fun and had a hauntingly nice semi-happy ending. I thought it was the best movie I watched over christmas. For reference me and family, all we do over christmas is eat and drink starting as soon as we get up and watch movies christmassy or otherwise.
This year we watched Justice league (yawn), the snowman (we turned it off not even halfway through) Paddington 2 (through the magic of piracy) and Bright.
Now straight out of the gate I’m a semi-fan of Max Landis and David Ayer, that meaning I’ve enjoyed movies they’ve both done individually before. And I think I went over this in my suicide squad review, Ayer makes these tight tense little thrillers that really work and when he tries something big like with suicide squad it just gets away from him and blows up in his face.
But with Bright I thought because he wasn’t writing and directing it might be a little better, a little less scattered and since it wasn’t this huge cast of characters the narrative would have been less all over the place.
Honestly, I went into this movie ready to love it and right away I really did based on Will Smith alone really, he really carries this movie just by being Will Smith, I don’t know how else to put it. He’s just one of those guys who basically plays himself and that works and when he doesn’t a la suicide squad and after earth it kind of goes wrong.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, it’s basically lord of the rings two thousand years later. So it’s like a world where their creation myths are straight out of tolkien. So it’s modern day with faeries and elves and orcs and wizards. It’s basically end of watch meets the shire.
I honestly loved the premise, the characters were fun and funny, the action was great the world building was ok, there wasn’t really much of a story but what movie does these days?
Now for the criticism; first out the door, the racial narrative is kind of dumb honestly, I mean I like that it wasn’t too much in your face but orcs are black people I guess, but Will Smith is a black guy and there are hispanic gang members in it and centaurs that never show up and elves are basically your rich wasps/I dunno magic assassins I guess.
Other than that it’s handled ok, the problem really is with the world in general, it sets up this great big fantasy sandbox for them to play in but it doesn’t do anything with it really. You see a dragon flying over l.a and you never see it again. The whole movie is talking about the ‘dark lord’ and *spoilers* he never shows up, instead it reverts back to the standard buddy cop narrative of saving your partner from a burning building.
It just doesn’t really go anywhere or really take any risks. The reason end of watch and training day and harsh times are such gripping movies is because you realise the main character could and probably would die at the end or it could happen at any moment. But I never got that sense from this movie I knew exactly what was going to happen at the end. And if you didn’t well just fuck you haha. I mean it couldn’t be more obvious, an idiot M.Night Shymalan fan could have worked it out.
But I remember watching it and really enjoying it for the action and the one liners and Will Smith returning to his funny action stick, that was a lot of fun and I really liked the villains until I realised they were the only villains.
Because this whole time I’m watching these bad ass assassin elves tearing shit up like equilibrium or a pointy eared neo and I thought they were really cool but in the back of my mind I thought these were like enforcer villains building up to the dark lord…. who never shows up. So these villains were great as what I thought were just place holders, so I judged them as like mid level villains but then when I realised they were it and they were killed pretty easily I was like ‘Oh’.
It was just dissapointing, it builds up this great world and does all this forshadowing with Smith holding a sword and I was thinking, Will Smith is going to be sword fighting the dark lord by the end of this movie with a dragon and it’s going to be dope af but it just never happens , it just sort of fizzles out.
It has all this potentional it wasted. Basically I saw Ayer wanting to challenge himself but he didn’t rise to the challenge he just took his boiler plate movie template and added faerie tale shit. And all the time it lacks any tension because beat for beat it’s attempting to be a blockbuster and have sequels so I’m fully aware none of the main characters are allowed to die.
So all in all it was just this toothless mess of a fun movie.
After all that I would recommend this movie if you’re a Will Smith or Ayer fan and I probably will watch the sequel if and when it comes out to see if they can build on the world and actually have something interesting happen.
Seriously, why not just have the dark lord show up and kick their ass and escape. You get your ‘realistic’ ending and set it up for a sequel while having the pay off. The movie doesn’t even seem aware it blue balled us not having the dark lord show up in any form, it just ends like ‘Welp that was fun guys thanks for all that money’.
I heard there’s a sequel in the works but I don’t see why it should get one when we still haven’t gotten one for Dredd despite it holding a 78% on rotten tomatoes and this film only got a 30% but the audience seems to like it I guess, lord of the rings for people who wear their sunglasses on the back of their heads is pretty popular haha.
It’s kind of a silly tone deaf movie but it’s a fun ride, what more can you ask for these days honestly?