Everybody seems to hate Bright. Except for the audience

Bright (2017) - Netflix

Bright is not the sweet candy Netflix wished for. But the bad propaganda against this movie is just unfair. It’s really a good one.

At Christmas people are usually nicer and better. Well, most of them. This certainly does not apply to film critics.  Ask David Ayer and Netflix who were so proud of their new movie Bright and saw it being smashed down with no mercy. It’s true: we probably won’t see it at the Oscars, but calling it the worst movie of 2017 is too much.

Bright is a fairy tale. It has some action, some crime, some profanities, but it is a fairy tale and you have to watch it for what it is. Especially during the holiday season.

Set in a world where humans live their lives side by side with orcs, elves, and other magical creatures. They are all sort of integrated, even if we are the dominant race, the elves a posh elite and the orcs the lower layer of society. LAPD officer Ward (Will Smith) and its orc companion Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) respond to a call and find a magic wand that everybody wants. First some corrupted cops, then a local gang, and lastly its real owner. A badass elf who wants to awake the dark forces and conquer the world.

Reasons for watching Bright

To be honest there are many. The story itself is a classic cop movie like many others but the fantasy component makes it more unpredictable. Fresher. The cast is outstanding, especially Will Smith who is always great in this kind of roles. The action and the special effects. Nice, fast and noisy.

And most important than anything else, because it’s a story nicely told. A big fairy tale that will give you adrenaline, make you smile, relax while waiting for the next big holiday dinner. If you consider Die Hard a Christmas movie you know what I am talking about.

We're not in a prophecy. We're in a stolen Toyota Corolla - Agent Ward (Will Smith)Click To Tweet

Bright (2017): humans live together with orcs

Bright (2017): A fantasy world where humans live together with orcs

Reasons for NOT watching Bright

Some might say that – being a fairy tale – Bright could have fewer profanities, no nudity, and less blood. This would make it suitable for a younger public. I personally disagree because it would make it less interest for an older audience but definetly is an acceptable critic.

The subtle comparison with the real American society is a bit simplistic. Orcs might be associated with Afro-American people/immigrants, elves with the riches (Jews?), humans with the majority of Caucasian people and cops as (bad) cops. America is more than that. But is true that you see this if you want to see it. It’s not key to the story.

Some said that there’s no story. That Bright is a mix of Lethal Weapon and The Lord of the Rings. In my opinion, a story that is easy to understand is not a bad thing, while elves and orcs are not an exclusive propriety of anyone. Case closed.

This is like a nuclear weapon that grants wishes - Agent Jakoby (Joel Edgerton)Click To Tweet

Bright (2017): Lucy Fry is Tikka

Bright (2017): Lucy Fry is Tikka the elf

Final thoughts on Bright

With a 90 million budget and a sequel already ordered, Bright represents Netflix official entrance into the fantasy movie big league. And it’s a hell of an entrance. Probably, this is the real reason why everybody is trying to trash it. The old movie industry dinosaurs cannot stand another victory for the digital newcomer.

Rotten Tomatoes ratings seem to confirm this theory. Very bad for the critics, very good for the audience.

Bright is entertaining and fun. I don’t think we should look for more than this. A fantasy-action movie that was nicely done and well interpreted by its cast. All we wanted for this Christmas.

Review summary
Review Date
Bright (2017)

Paolo Rizz
Paolo Rizz
Addicted to reading (good books and screenplays), watching (movies and TV series), writing (mainly bad stuff), learning (anything supposed to make me a better person). I am an online reviewer writing for different media (at night), I currently live in Barcelona (Spain). And yes, I do love parenthesis.

1 Comment

  1. I watched Bright with an open mind, as critics do not always represent the taste of the real modern audience.
    Did I like it? Yes! It was enjoyable to watch.
    Do I understand why it got hammered so badly? Yes!

    I think there was a lot of back stories and it felt like a 10 episodes season could have worked better than a stand alone.

    If this had been episode 1, to introduce this new world, then I think the feedback would have been better.

    There was too much in too little for one movie, while a show over a season might have helped develop more each story and character.

    Nothing wrong with the quality of the filming or the effects. Will Smith was being the Will Smith we saw in many similar movies, so all good on that front.

    On the writing side though, I think there were a few missing things. The why we are in this world (that looks futuristic because of all the species but is in fact quite current time with normal cars and the world we live in now) and explain the timline better.

    But I agree that it might have been badly targeted because Netflix is the future and digital is the enemy of the old school film distribution. But these guys will go soon, and the fresh new generation might understand the modern audience better.