So, back in late October or early November (2017), Netflix threw out a trailer for a movie called Bright, which blended real life and fantasy together to tell a story. I watched the trailer and thought everything looked pretty cool and was looking forward to watching it. Then I saw the released date and realized all I had to do was wait until December… I have to admit though when I saw Ayer was the director I almost changed my mind about watching Bright because of his work on the Suicide Squad (2016), which to me was a fast-paced hot mess of a movie. However, Ayer did a really good job with Bright and I seriously enjoyed watching it.
Bright, which is an action/crime/fantasy was directed by David Ayer and written by Max Landis. It has a runtime of a hundred and eighteen minutes and is rated TV-MA (suitable for mature audiences only) or R for violence, language, and nudity. The story is about two Los Angeles police officers, Daryl Ward (who is a human) and Nick Jakoby (who is an Orc). It’s Ward’s first day back to work after being shot and he’s a bit uneasy about having Jakoby as his partner. While on duty, Ward and Jakoby answer a disturbance call and when they get to the scene they find a scared female elf named Tikka, bodies and… a magic wand. Wands are considered a dangerous magical item because it can grant wishes to the user, but it takes a special person to hold a wand or they will explode from its power. Knowing they could die, everyone still wants their chance to find out if they can control the wand. Now, Ward and Jakoby are being hunted down by everyone from the local street gangs to fellow police officers, but the real threat comes from the owner of the wand who needs it back and will go through whoever she has to for it.
The story is a really cool idea, it’s like they merged the movie End of Watch (2012) with Lord of the Rings (2001) and everything blended together nicely. After watching the trailer and then the movie, the story ended up having an even darker tone than I was expecting, but it was cool because it made everything feel a bit more realistic. It delves into a lot of different social issues that translate well into our everyday lives. For instance, there was a war fought that lasted for a thousand years and now everyone (humans, orcs, elves etc) is trying to find peace but old grudges are still there in everyday life.
I thought the playthrough was seriously great. The pace of the movie was good. There’s plenty going on during every turn of the story that’ll keep you entertained. Now, the main storyline is about the two cops, but they threw an interesting bit of background story to explain why everyone is at odds with each other, and it also makes it feel like there could easily be a sequel coming down the line at some point. Even though this is a fantasy based movie, you don’t have to be a fan of Lord of the Rings style stuff to enjoy the movie. Bright is a dark and gritty cop movie with plenty of action scenes, shootouts and explosive mayhem to keep an action fan happy.
Some of the cast is Will Smith (Independence Day), Joel Edgerton (The Gift), Lucy Fry (Mr. Church), Edgar Ramirez (Deliver Us from Evil), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Brad William Henke (Fury), Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad), Matt Gerald (Avatar), Margaret Cho (30 Rock), Joseph Piccuirro (Ballers), Veronica Ngo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Alex Meraz (The Twillight Saga: New Moon) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Hands down, my favorite actor in the movie was Edgerton. In almost every scene Edgerton was in he stole the spotlight by showing such great range. Smith’s character this time around is a good guy at heart, but comes off rather ruff and uncaring, especially when it comes to his partner Jakoby. Smith does a really good job at showing us a character that fights with wanting to do the right thing and wanting to go home to his family when the day is done. As far as the main villain goes, I’ve only seen a couple of Rapace’s films, so I don’t know if she’s a good actress or not, but I thought she rocked it in this one. She doesn’t say a whole lot but sells her villainous role in her demeanor and body language really well.
From make-up to fight scenes and sets, the special effects looked great. Your eyeballs are in for a treat with this one. I ended up watching this one twice now because there was so much going on that I didn’t get a chance to look around in the scenes as they were happening. The second time around I was amazed at some of the things going on in the background. Be it in the graffiti or the dragon flying off in the distance. Each of those little things, plus all of the others, really helped make this one such a visually good movie.
I don’t usually talk about the soundtrack of a film, but I have to mention it this time because the songs were great and fit the scenes so well. I dug the soundtrack so much that I had to go track down the music after watching the movie. It’s a hard call but I think my favorite was a song called Home featuring Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors & Bebe Rexha.
Side note: Even though a lot of critics gave Bright bad reviews, audiences seemed to respond to it better, which is why Netflix announced that they would be making a sequel to Bright. There’s no official release date yet, but word has it that Smith, Edgerton, and Aryer will be returning. Landis, however, will reportedly not be coming back and that’s most likely due to the controversy around him right now about a reported sexual assault. The upside is there will be a sequel and even though I dig Smith, I’m more excited to hear that Edgerton (hopefully) will be coming back.
Overall, if you have Netflix then you should watch Bright. If you don’t, make friends with someone who does… quickly.