review by Bobby Blakey
Netflix has been offering up some great shows and movies throughout the last year, but one of the most anticipated is that of David Ayer’s fantasy driven gritty crime thriller Bright. The film features a great cast including Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Edgar Ramirez, Jay Hernandez, Lucy Fry, Margaret Cho, and Ike Barinholtz, but does it live up to the hype or will it be a fantasy soon forgotten?
Bright follows an alternate present where humans and fantasy creatures, Orcs, Fairies, Elves, Centaurs, Dwarves etc., that have co-existed since the beginning of time. Human LAPD officer Daryl Ward and Orc rookie officer Nick Jakoby embark on a routine patrol night, only to discover an ancient, but powerful artifact: a magic wand that was thought to be destroyed, and encounter a darkness that will ultimately alter the future and their world as they know it. This movie has been receiving a lot of flak from reviewers about how bad it is, but I am not sure what movie they were watching because I really enjoyed it. It seems to be another case of more fans liking it as opposed to the critics, but I for one got exactly what I expected out of it.
David Ayer has a flair for this genre, but the addition of the fantasy element makes it feel like something new and original while offering up some familiar territory. I know some people may have wanted more of a backstory, but I loved that it was just how things are and you need to accept it. I do not require ever story element to be spoon fed to me and just like to enjoy what world has been crafted. Smith is good here and looks to be all in with the part bringing his usual swagger and charm to the role. Edgerton is excellent as his Orc partner who struggles with acceptance and finding his place in the world and on the force. There are so many real life elements here that are sadly more relevant that they should be in regards to the racial tension, aggression and abuse of power that never forced morals down your throat.
There is some great old school action here and while the fantasy element plays a big part in the second half it felt like Ayer was trying to keep it as grounded and believable as possible given the subject matter. I really dug the hell out of this movie and with the recent announcement of a sequel in the works I am all the more eager to see it. Love it or hate it at least he stuck his neck out with something different and for me it worked just fine.