Bright (movie review) **spoiler free**
It has been quite sometime since we have seen Will Smith doing an interesting project. As far as I remember, the last good role he did was in Pursuit of Happiness back in 2006. So when the trailers for Bright showed up, I was pleasantly surprised. A low-key venture on Netflix movies (although at $90M its the costliest Netflix movie yet) boasting an interesting premise and quite some promise of acting as far as we can tell from the trailer. So when the movie was out (last night that is), I immediately watched it, having nothing better to do on a Friday evening.
The movie starts off as a buddy cop movie set in present times, but with a twist. We have humans living side by side with other mythical races – Orcs, Elves, Fairies etc (read LOTR, Harry Potter inspiration here). Will Smith plays Officer Daryl Ward, who has been assigned an Orc as a partner, Officer Nick Jakoby who is brilliantly played by Joel Edgerton. Jakoby is the first ever Orc who has become an officer, in a society where Orcs are at the lowest rung of social structure, humans in the middle, and rules by Elves who are quite rich. He attracts a lot of hatred towards him from other fellow human officers who think he doesn’t belong with them, and other Orcs who think that he strayed out from their pack and betrayed them. Add to it that he is not bloodied – an Orc’ish rites of passage where an Orc has to take a life to earn respect from his fellow Orc brothers.
Everything is going as usual, till they are thrown into midst of a conspiracy launched by a group knows as ‘Inferii’ who are trying to bring back th Dark Lord (who had supposedly been banished 2000 years ago) and another group known as ‘Shield of Light’ who are trying to stop them. The key to raising the Dark Lord are magic wands – one of which somehow falls into the possession of our Orc – Human cop team. What ensues is a never ending chase where they are pursued by gangs of Humans mafia, Orc mafia, corrupt police officers, Magic-police agents (a take on the DEA agents) and ‘Inferii’ Elves. We are explained more of this universe as the story unravels.
The storyline has been constructed quite well here. We are eased into a fantasy universe with some solid characters that deliver quite a lot as promised by the trailer. Both Will Smith and Joel Edgerton come toe-to-toe in terms of acting and keep the tone of the movie intense as well as humorous by throwing in well timed comic punchlines. The movie does well to introduce the universe – and tells just enough to get our curiosity. Netflix could very well be thinking to develop a series set in this universe, and we would be highly interested to watch it. Also keep a lookout for lot of potential storylines – dragons flying in the sky at night, Dwarves in party, and who knows a prequel movie about the so called Dark Lord.
Directed David Ayer has upped his game since Suicide Squad – considering that he had lesser characters to work with and less pressure to keep everyone in the limelight. Will Smith delivers a stellar performance which can be equated all the way back to Independence day! Writer Max Landis has written a tight script that keeps the pace on at all times, and is funny as well as action packed all throughout.
The movie delivers all that it has promised – don’t watch it expecting a Nolan’esque movie or Kubrick’esque sequences. Watch it for a fresh take on the buddy cop genre and an intro to a universe that can develop into something quite good on the future, depending how Netflix takes it up. Don’t be deterred by the ratings or critic’s review this movie is getting – they are not true at all. I guess critics were paid to wax eloquent for The Last Jedi and they didn’t get anything for this one, that’s why all the hate. Give it a chance and you would be pleasantly satisfied 🙂
Ratings: (4 / 5)
A Business Analyst by profession, but more a traveller who is trying to analyse millennia of history, culture and stories across the world more than often.
I like to collect things – coins, stamps, books, autographs, and most of all action figures. Comics and pop culture has been an active influence to shape my life goals. In my free time (which I have very rarely) I like to do pencil sketching.
Secret wish – to visit every (real/inspired) place Tintin visited.