Bright Review: A satisfactory start to a promising franchise


Bright is the latest original movie released by Netflix and it was received with little enthusiasm and particularly harsh critics.

Bright, the Netflix thriller starring Will Smith didn’t win the critics’ heart. Before it was released, it had already earned the status of “worst movie of the year”, no less. Obviously, after that, I wasn’t so hurried to watch it anymore. If the best movie of the year is a coveted and arduous merit to attain, I consider the opposite isn’t a distinction so easy to obtain either. So I checked it out to make up my own mind about it.

Overall, Bright is an effective action/fantasy movie, carried by an undeniably strong cast, which suffers from unmissable weaknesses.

A clever setting

Bright is an action movie set in a fantastical background. From the opening sequence, director David Ayer adroitly introduces the audience to this modern society where humans, elves, orcs, and fairies live (but not mingle) together. The hierarchy and history of every species are slowly established throughout the film in such a way that the viewer is naturally pulled in into this Universe.

Scott Ward (Will Smith) is an LAPD cop coerced to work with partner Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), the first orc officer in the police. Jakoby is struggling with both his kind seeing him as a traitor and his human coworkers’ contempt and hatred. Let’s just call it as it is —racism,  as this is definitely one of the sub-themes the movie addresses with the aid of the different fantastical societies (elves are the superior, wealthy class; humans are in between; orcs are below and labeled riff-raff, and fairies are pests).

An effective action movie

During one of their night patrols, Ward and Jakoby find themselves having to deal with a wand (a powerful and dangerous device lusted after by many for all the magical properties it carries). From there, the action starts, and never really stops. Shooting, car chases, explosions, etc, Bright is a fast-paced movie that piles up one action sequence after another without any blanks for the viewer to get bored. With a budget of $90,000,000, this makes Bright the most expensive Netflix movie; and it shows. A lot. Maybe too much and at the expense of the story that is told.

A wobbly result

More from Show Snob

Despite all its actions and special effects, despite its fairies, elves, and magicians, Bright, unfortunately, lacks magic and left me, as a viewer, with unfulfilled satisfaction. By having packed it with so much action, the movie ended up with thin content.

Thus, for instance, besides for the two main protagonists, the remainder of the glowing cast is left having little to do with flat, simplistic characters, who lack depth for the audience to connect with. The talent of Seven Sisters and Millenium Series actress Noomie Rapace is completely wasted in the role of a bland villain who does villainous things without any further backstory or elements. Same problem with the characters of Tikka (Lucy Fry) and Kandomere (Edgar Ramirez) who are kind of there but serve no real purposes.

Since Bright is set to be the first part of a franchise —and Netflix has already announced a sequel is in the works— here’s to hoping that the next movie will concentrate on giving more layers to the secondary characters and more consistency to a perhaps less action-packed script to the advantage of a stronger plot that will get the audience more invested in the fate of the characters.

Bright is good, but it’s not great yet (and nope, not the worst movie of the year either). Hopefully, the sequel will manage to fix up the weaknesses in the first movie.

Next: Netflix reveals ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ 2018 premiere date

Magic is born in fairy tales. Next time let us fully discover the tale behind BrightBright is currently available to stream on Netflix.