+ Recommended – TV-MA, Action, Fantasy
Bright, an ambitious Netflix original that kicks off the start of Netflix’s own culmination of original films, achieves much in its run-time of nearly 2 hours; the mythology was carefully thought-out, but not to the point of telling the audience everything, while the look, feel, and tone of the movie never shifted. This leaves room for the sequel, ordered by Netflix, to pick up on some of those concepts. The movie is David Ayer’s best directing work since End of Watch (2012).
Will Smith (Officer Ward) and Joel Edgerton (Officer Jakoby) have natural on-screen chemistry that is reminiscent of other films in Will Smith’s filmography like Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003). The interactions between themselves and other characters help the film form it’s rhythm. Noomi Rapace (Leilah) portrays the film’s “baddie” and does a fine job, but is wildly underused and has no real development. If you take away everything else in the film, you’ll be left with a basic, buddy-cop action movie. However, basic isn’t necessarily a bad thing if your expectations are set low.
During the third and final act, I couldn’t help but feel as if the progression of the story was rushed in order to have a run time under 2 hours. Especially with stories that are rich in mythology and lore, I feel as if the creative team needed to take their time for the audience to feel completely immersed and engaged in the story. Third acts are meant to be the climax or tipping point. When reaching that destination here, I asked myself, “Is this it?” And the answer was yes.
Overall Bright is not a bad film; it’s just not a great film. If you sit down to watch it without high expectations, you’ll be pleasantly surprised on what the movie does get right. On an estimated $90 million dollar budget, you’d expect more though. If you have nothing else to watch over the holiday weekend, Bright makes for good background noise.