Bright – The DVDfever Cinema / Netflix Review

BrightBright is a new Netflix movie set in an alternate present.

Have you had a trip or fall at work? Cop Daryl Ward (Will Smith) has, and it’s the fault of an orc, so it’s rather an issue that he’s saddled with one as a partner, namely Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). Their race have been amongst us since Jesus was a lad, but there’s still a great number of the population who just can’t take to them, so they take the rap for an awful lot… and those who hate orcs working as cops the most are… other orcs.

When they arrest a lunatic on the street, he tells Nick that the Prophecy has chosen him… but what does this mean? Meanwhile, the Feds are trying to get to the bottom of an organisation known as the Shield of Light; there’s a series of creatures known as Brights, who are elves with something up their sleeve that’s a surprise to everyone; and Inferni, aka renegade elves, and everyone’s after a particular weapon, and they’ll attempt to acquire it by fair means or foul.

In Bright, they’re dealing with otherworldly forces which no-one can understand, so there’s a hell of a lot of weird stuff going on. However, it feels like a mix of previous movies I’ve seen, such as Underworld, Alien Nation, The Fifth Element and anything where Will Smith is a fast-talking smoothy – since he’s his usual smart-ass self, completely unchanged from any other character he’s played; and where impossibly insurmountable problems can be resolved by using your fists.

Will Smith teams up with Joel Edgerton.

There were some neat touches, like how in this world, they squish fairies like we do flies, and amusing lines in it, such as Will turns off Orkish heavy metal-style music in the cop car:

    Nick: “That’s one of the greatest love songs ever written”
    Will: “…in prison(!)”

Also worthy of note is Lucy Fry as a Bright called Tikka, plus Noomi Rapace in a rare baddie role as Leilah, alongside her No.1, Tien, played by the stunning Veronica Ngo who pops up in a key early scene as Paige, part of the Resistance in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. Her screen sister, Rose, gets far more screentime in that, but I do hope we see much more of Ms Ngo in the future.

However, throw in a section where it starts turning into a gang violence flick, and the film gets a bit too punch-up-happy and twisty-turny for its own good. It’s also about 30 minutes too long so, overall, we have a decent first third, and after that, it rather coasts along, giving us nothing we’ve not seen before. This is a shame as director David Ayer worked together with Will Smith on Suicide Squad, which I really enjoyed. Plus, Ayer also directed the hard-hitting End of Watch, a film that’s often praised, although I’d previously seen all five seasons of the even harder-hitting series, Southland.

Bright launches on Netflix this Friday, December 2nd. It’s not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but click on the poster for the full-size version.

Noomi Rapace as Leilah.

Detailed specs:

Running time: 117 minutes
Studio: Netflix
Year: 2017
Format: 2.35:1 (Dolby Vision, HDR10, 4K)
Released: December 22nd 2017
Rating: 5/10

Director: David Ayer
Producers: David Ayer, Eric Newman and Bryan Unkeless
Screenplay: Max Landis
Music: David Sardy

Daryl Ward: Will Smith
Nick Jakoby: Joel Edgerton
Leilah: Noomi Rapace
Kandomere: Edgar Ramírez
Tikka: Lucy Fry
Tien: Veronica Ngo
Serafin: Alex Meraz
Pollard: Ike Barinholtz
Sherri Ward: Dawn Olivieri
Sgt Ching: Margaret Cho
Brown: Joseph Piccuirro
Dorghu: Brad William Henke
Rodriguez: Jay Hernandez