“Bright” stars Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, and Edgar Ramirez. Released on Netflix on December 22, 2017, the film is about a human cop and an Orc cop who discover a powerful artifact and a villainous threat that could destroy their world.
The film is directed by David Ayer, who also directed films such as Street Kings, End of Watch, Fury, and Suicide Squad. After making a full recovery from the disappointment that is “Little Evil”, it’s time for me to look at another Netflix movie, which is something that I was looking forward to for quite some time. This is the latest collaboration between Will Smith and director David Ayer after working together in Suicide Squad last year. That fact alone was one of the many reasons why I was interested in seeing it, along with its concept and the soundtrack. Will they be enough to meet my expectations? Let’s find out.
The story is set in an alternate reality where humans co-exist with mythical creatures, such as Orcs, Elves, and Fairies. While it sounds like it could come from any fantasy film for families, it is actually a gritty cop thriller that blends fantasy elements with social commentaries like racial issues. In other words, don’t watch it with your kids. This concept alone had the possibility of being something special if they had the right tools and the right people. From my personal perspective, they definitely had the right people, but not the right tools. However, I was able to find some enjoyment regardless. The story had a few buddy cop cliches, with Will Smith’s character partnering with an Orc cop, as well as some fantasy elements that somehow overshadow its social themes during the second and third acts. The way they portray this world and its themes is exactly how I envisioned our world in terms of how different people treat one another. Even though they only made brief references to its themes, I thought David Ayer did a nice job at bringing this violent world to life with a fantasy twist. Will Smith delivered a solid performance as Daryl Ward as well as Joel Edgerton as Jakoby, an Orc rookie cop. The chemistry between the two main actors were pretty amusing, although it would be more affective if they focused a bit more on some parts of their relationship. The film also gets huge props for using practical makeup to make the Orcs and the Elves look and feel realistic instead of using CGI or motion capture. I always have that feeling that David Ayer likes to keep things modern and real in his movies, and that using CGI could ruin his own image. I really like that he’s sticking with that type of strategy, and I hope he keeps doing it in films like this.
Overall, “Bright” does hit a few low points in terms of representing its social commentaries, but as a typical, gritty, buddy-cop fantasy film, it’s an enjoyable watch for those who are into this type of genre. While there are plenty of things that could’ve been explored more, I did manage to enjoy the chemistry between Smith and Edgerton as well as its splendid use of practical makeup and the action. Not a huge loss for David Ayer, but not his personal best, either.