During the holidays, I was able to sit down and watch the new Netflix movie Bright. I've been curious about this since I first heard about it at San Diego Comic Con. Netflix had a little over a third of their offsite dedicated to this movie (another big chunk going to Stranger Things and a smaller piece going to The Defenders). I loved the idea of a fantasy world melded with the real world that I joined the Fogteeth gang.
But seriously, I love the idea of this movie. And while it had its moments, I found the movie to be really inconsistent and the dialogue (largely) poorly written.
Now before I go into details, I do want to say that I'm actually really happy this movie is getting a sequel (sans Max Landis, which I'm happy about for a few reasons, not the least of which is that he apparently doesn't know that a prophecy involves someone saying it will happen before it happens). I think that a fantasy movie really does need time to develop and properly introduce the world. Think of the Lord of the Rings movies. They were given three movies up front, filmed all together. While there was a lot of story to tell, they did not need to cram too much into the first movie and end up messing things up (look at The Dark Tower - Imagine if they had a couple of movies to set things up right without having to rush things).
Now back to Bright. While I did like Will Smith's character overall, he was wildly inconsistent. One minute he's telling his daughter that just because someone is different (in this case an Orc) that doesn't mean they aren't as smart or as capable as someone else (a human), and then in the next scene he's complaining that he doesn't want an Orc partner and he wants someone else. I wish he had either been the "hey things are changing, this is OK" guy, or the "I'm a little bit racist" guy who learns that changing things are OK. But I think a part of that goes back to the writing.
What Bright does nail is the makeup and practical effects. A good chunk of the characters in this movie were either Orcs or Elves, and they looked really good. Joel Edgerton did an amazing job of being believable, despite all the prosthetics on his face. The other supporting Orcs as well. I also loved the effects of the magic used in the house. I took the picture below at Comic Con, and the scene in the movie was even more amazing.
I want to address a couple of small complaints, things that didn't totally kill the movie for me, but stood out enough that they did stick in my mind. First, the big reveal was super predictable. Mainly because a character basically tells you exactly what it is early on. Second, perhaps the biggest fantasy part of this movie is how much rain they show Los Angeles getting. And third, there is a cut scene that shows a dragon flying over Los Angeles, and there is no freaking mention of dragons anywhere else! Don't tease me with a dragon and do nothing with it!
As I mentioned earlier, I'm really glad this movie is getting a sequel. I think this world has a lot of potential, and I'd like to know more about what led to the society we see. This movies did a reasonable job of giving us a little history ("2,000 years ago, Orcs chose the wrong side, and we've been paying for it every since"), but I'd like to know more. While I didn't totally love this, it definitely wasn't my least favorite movie of 2017 (I'm looking at you, Power Rangers!). I'm giving this one a Fresnerd "C". But I think this world has the potential to be pretty awesome.
Have you seen Bright and have something to say? Leave us a comment below!