Why can’t we just have a movie about an alien cop trying to be a badass without making it about America’s shitty race relations? I thought that’s what I was going to get with the new Netflix Original Bright, but no such luck. FYI, this post contains spoilers so if you haven’t seen it stop here. If you’re still with me either you saw it or you haven’t and you just don’t care. Anywho—onward we go.
Bright is the story of an LAPD detective, Daryl Ward (Will Smith), who is forced to partner with a mystical creature called an Orc, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) in this mystical world where racism doesn’t exist—unless you’re an Orc—and black lives matter but “fairy lives don’t matter.”
The two unlikely partners get wrapped up into a dangerous web of corruption and down right stupid shit to find the most violent weapon in Los Angeles—a magic wand. I’m a little unsure of when exactly this storyline takes place, but it is set in the United States, obviously, some time after Donald Trump destroyed the country and Russia took over—just a guess.
I think this movie had all the potential to be one of those films that make you reflect on how we treat one another in society, but using mystical creatures to prove a point just doesn’t have the same effect. In this weird fantasy world fairies are like pesky sewer rats, and elves are billionaires that run shit. WTF! You have got to be kidding me.
I must say this lazy attempt at an racial allegory is a bit annoying. Why oh why couldn’t this mediocre movie just leave the race stuff alone? Chance tha Rapper and I have very similar feelings about how they tried to portray the racial divide in this country using this fairy tale logic. After seeing the film, the Grammy award-winning rapper tweeted:
“I found the way they tried to illustrate America’s racism through the mythical creatures to be a little shallow.”
Yea, what he said. Instead of Det. Ward’s character suffering from racial discrimination for being black, his Orc partner caught all the hell. There was even a point in the movie where the white and hispanic cops tried to get Ward to frame his otherworldly partner to ruin his life just because they don’t want to work with “his kind.” Sound familiar? I bet it does, welcome to America where if you don’t look like this you get treated like shit.
I would rather not take a deep dive into all the reasons I thought this film was a poor portrayal at depicting real life, so I’m just going to tell you all the reasons I think that Will Smith should’ve passed on this role.
First and foremost, the aforementioned plot line—they are trying to protect the most deadly, desired weapon, not a gun or nuclear bomb, a MAGIC WAND. Bruh, really though? You mean to tell me that in this weird, post-apocalyptic, Trump destroyed future we are more afraid of magic wands than guns? Okay.
Nevermind that the wand can only be used by elves or brights—a person that possesses some weird gene I suppose that lets you actually touch a wand without exploding. Every thug in LA—including a wheelchaired cholo with a band of misfits— wants this wand that Ward and Jackoby happen to stumble upon—with an accompanying elf/bright.
Next thing that blows, the first 30 minutes or so of the movie are the absolute worst, I almost turned it off. I decided to give it a chance to get better, eh, barely. There was some action scenes that involved some gun fighting, horrible CG stunts, and killing but other than that, it was just okay.
There was this evil elf/bright who the wand belonged to that was determined to get it back to summon some evil power and take over the world (real original, darling). It all just felt very… incomplete. I had so many questions that were left unanswered and I’m not even sure I care enough to know anymore.
After it started to pick up, it did just what I feared—it became predictable. I knew what was going to happen 45 minutes into this almost two hour movie (way too long if you ask me). That’s a major pet peeve for me, I don’t want to figure out the ending before it happens. I live for plot twists and weird, untraditional endings.
If you didn’t figure out that Ward was a bright after they found that magic wand with the elf chick, then you obviously weren’t paying attention or you just haven’t watched enough movies. And if you didn’t think that Jackoby’s thug, Orc folk weren’t going to show up to give him that slow clap of victory, what is wrong with you? Also, if you didn’t know that Ward, Jackoby and the elf girl (her name is so unimportant) would save the day, you seriously need to stop working and spend your life figuring out why you are so gullible.
I’ll give this movie 2 out of 5 stars. Also, Will Smith if you’re reading this (because that’s what you do in your free time, read random blogs) it’s okay to say no to some things. I know you have exponentially more money than I do, but this was painful to watch.