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Will Smith and Joel Edgerton in Bright (2017)Review

Bright (Crime, Fantasy, Action) (2017)


Director: David Ayer

Writer: Max Landis

Stars: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry

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In a world where we’re captivated with racial differences and conflict, A famous author you might know named J.R.R Tolkien created one of the most identifiable races in today’s Fantasy genre and further designed/modernized another, known by everyone and pictured all over the place in books, movies and series. These Races are often portrayed to be at war with each other despising the very disposition and tendencies of the opposing race. David Ayer has these core ideas and has created a world in Netflix’s newest endeavour Bright, where we’re actually living with these fantasy races in a present-day version of Los Angeles, and surprisingly it isn’t all that different to what we know to be a reality.

As the opening credits rolled and the setting was unveiled, one of the first things I could think of was District 9, a movie by Neill Blomkamp which shows an Alien race integrating with human society’s who are quick to show that they’re unwelcoming to these different lifeforms. So just like Bright, it took a current day situation that is seemingly ingrained in us and amplified it in such a way that it creates a movie with depth, tackling real issues in a fantasy world.

Investigating the same idea in a different film in another way is not only intriguing to watch but can also be an insightful opportunity. However, there are many differences between the movie I just recalled and Bright, which is probably a good thing. To start with, Bright has a way higher budget, which it shows off with the magnificent scenery, awe-inspiring set pieces and fantastic make-up (Especially on Joel Edgerton’s character Jakoby). Bright very much seems like a comedy movie not taking itself too seriously which was strange due to the setting it presents and ethical questions it puts in front of the viewer; you would’ve thought it’d go more in-depth, building upon both the main characters and story, which it does somewhat. Sadly this is trivial, and the relationship between our main characters stagnates throughout the film. With the excellent build-up it had, some actual depth would’ve been lovely instead the audience is treated with very basic (In some cases even childish) characters and a story that doesn’t seem to go anywhere interesting as the characters are shown just trudging through the scenario’s presented to them, looks like they’ve just put on the police uniform for the very first time, Even though it’s the goal of the film to make the main characters seem dysfunctional it just didn‘t feel right. The action scenes weren’t much different, barely being interestingly shown. When the action was shown however it was pretty good  

All of this isn’t unlike one of Ayer’s recent works Suicide Squad which had the same feeling, great setup but not much depth throughout.

Even though the story was lacking some of the character’s felt really good, and the chemistry between Smith and Edgerton was great, just a shame that the script didn’t build on this chemistry leading to the two characters having a lack of emotional connection to the viewer. Ruining any moments that should’ve evoked some sort of emotional response. Apart from Will Smith and Joel Edgerton other good characters barely played a part, and others still just couldn’t make their character’s stand out due to the bland script and lack of freedom.

Far before the film even ended it was clear that a sequel will be made which shows once more exactly the budget they’re using, and many people might cheer for this, sadly even though I will watch the sequel is not my initial reaction

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Bright could’ve been the next epic we’ve been waiting for, but with so many parts of the movie being barely decent it just couldn’t tie everything together into a thrilling, tense and funny blockbuster.