I, like everyone else, had seen the reviews of Bright after it came out and resigned myself to not touching it with a ten-foot bargepole. However, fate intervened, as I stayed over at a friends I said how I wanted something to review while I was there, and suggested we watch a film, when will I ever learn to keep my big mouth shut?
In a world where fantasy creatures live side-by-side with humans in a modern New York setting, an outcast orc cop teams up with a veteran cop, they’re framed after getting involved with a magical MacGuffin and end up being pursued by both the Police force and a Hispanic gang.
You see that story summation? You’re lucky I got that much as for 90% of the run-time I had no idea what was going on or why I should care. The plot moves faster than a jet plane, bringing up vital plot points without establishing them and then talking about them as if we knew what the hell they were talking about.
This is a movie with more holes than Swiss cheese, and cheese at least has the advantage of tasting nice. It starts off with some of the most heavy-handed metaphors you’ll ever see committed to screen, you see, in this world orcs are marginalised and treat as outcasts to the point where members of the police force are blatantly prejudiced against them. Jeez, I wonder what that could represent.
At the start it’s established that our human lead (played by Will Smith, who might as well have had buffering symbols spinning in his eyes) was shot by an orc during what I assume is a stake-out, it’s really badly explained, basically one minute they’re talking about burritos and the next Will Smith’s character finds himself shot.
Then after about 30 minutes of fairly dull ‘I don’t trust my partner’ scenes the plot takes a right turn at bonkers boulevard and introduces out of nowhere that a band of vigilante elves are using magic wands and this is important for some poorly explained reason. From there Will Smith is blackmailed seemingly a hundred times to frame his orc partner, again for poorly explained reasons.
While I could harp on all day about it’s plot deficiencies, of which there are many, that’s not the only place it falls short, the direction is sub-par for a start. Every scene is so poorly lit you can barely see what’s going on, not that you’d want to because the creature design is so god-awful, every scene set outside seems to have a weird filter on that makes it even MORE difficult to see and the visual design is as pleasing to look at as Susan Boyle in a swimsuit.
I understand that not every movie has to be an Oscar-worthy character drama, but at least give your viewers a plot that they can understand, or at least vaguely follow, this movie is just one long insult to it’s audiences intelligence.
I remember a time when Will Smith was nominated for Oscars, and it wasn’t that long ago. Here he sleepwalks through his cookie-cutter character and incredibly uninventive dialogue, I can’t say I blame him, even with the terrible material he is still insanely charismatic, doesn’t make this film any better to watch though. He spends the whole film phoning it in with the rest of the cast who don’t so much play ‘characters’ as they do stock stereotypes. All the black characters talk like 90’s rappers, all the Latinos might as well punctuate each sentence with ‘ese’ or ‘homes’ for how stereotypical their dialogue is and all the characters with moustaches are all dicks, because aren’t they always.
It may surprise you (or not) to learn that this movie was directed by the same visionary behind Suicide Squad, and if Will Smith had any sense he’d block the guys number to prevent any further damage to his career.
In brief, this is a terribly shot, terribly scripted and terribly acted movie that zips along at the speed of light, probably hoping we don’t notice how awful it is. Well, I did notice movie, and you are truly awful.