Just watched Netflix’s latest entry into the blockbuster movie scene, Bright. I have to say, I’m conflicted. The movie is not good, but neither is it bad. As I consider it, over and over in my head, I get more and more conflicted in my reactions. Because of that, I am going to say you should watch it…but go into the viewing with an open mind. I’ll barely touch on the good to avoid spoilers, but it’s worth watching.

The World

Bright is set in a world where Humans, Elves, Orcs, and other mythical creatures live together in modern day Los Angeles. It is a bit like today’s racial tension but at a fantasy type level. Something happened 2000 years ago with a “Dark Lord” character which was bad…but we don’t really know what this is. This is the biggest problem with the movie. It puts you in the fantasy world that isn’t anything like most of this type, then neglects to build the world for the viewer. You are thrown into the middle of the world and have no idea how we got there…sure there’s some mention of it at one point in the movie (simply to characterize the “class” system that exists), but I watched the film in its entirety and am still lost in how and why we got there. Is there magic? Is there no magic? Only certain people can do it, but everyone thinks they are capable? Since there was no back story on any of this, many of the situations are difficult to understand.

The Situation

The next issue is that you are also thrown into the middle of an apparent conflict between Will Smith’s character, Daryl Ward, and Joel Edgerton’s character, Nick Jakoby. Honestly, at the level these characters take this supposed rift, you are seriously confused about why and what happened. Because you are given ZERO context for it, you think you are simply watching some 1950s Cop Drama about the first black police officer. I do think that this was part of the intent, but without anything to empathize with either character, you just sit there confused. Later you gain the context of the situation, but there was implied ostracizing of Ward as well that occurred that this context never explained. Edgerton’s portrayal of Jakoby as an orc is fantastic, by the way.

Great Direction of Bad Writing

Bright boils down to one thing: Great Direction of Bad Writing. David Ayers does a fantastic job on this movie. For someone who is a huge fantasy nerd, I thought the world that Ayers brought to life was amazing. The setup of the scenes, the action, and approach was fantastic for the genre and provided little left to be desired. But, he could only do so much with the horrible script. Max Landis’s script had so many holes. There is bad dialogue, campy characters (Internal Affairs, anyone?!?!?), and a world without structure. This movie felt like a second part of a trilogy. The first movie setup the world and situation we are in, maybe ended with the conflict between Daryl and Nick. This one does its thing and setups magic and it’s danger. Then the third act is when all this comes together and Nick and Daryl become humanity’s (and orcs and elves) saviors. This is what this movie feels like, but without the first act…the viewer is just stuck asking: “What the hell is going on here? But it’s so pretty…” Oh yeah, and the soundtrack is pretty good…

Bright | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

Humans, Orcs, Elves... everybody is just trying to get along. Get ready for the world of Bright, a new Netflix Original Film, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. Now streaming on Netflix. Bright The Album Now Available Download/Stream Now - About Bright: Set in an alternate present-day where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies have been co-existing since the beginning of time.