Director: David Ayer
Starring: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace
I’m very hit and miss with Will Smith. I enjoy his earlier films way more than I do of his newer credits. After I Am Legend (one of my favourite Will Smith flicks), for me, he seemed to have entered a dimension of poor choices and slacked on giving us the Will Smith we all fell in love in. Alas, Focus came along, starring alongside the fresh-faced Margot Robbie and at this point I thought, Will Smith is back. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and he fell backwards yet again.
Saying this, Netflix’s original Bright became a surprise entry for my love/hate relationship with Smith. It’s the present day and humans, Orcs, Elves and Fairies coexist on earth and have been since the beginning of time. Dealing with their own personal differences, Ward who is a human (Will Smith) and Jakoby the Orc (Joel Edgerton) were partners on the police force. After being shot, Wade is just getting it back together to return to his job and be reunited with his partner. On a routine night patrol, they both discover information that could change the world as they know it. Together, they must battle enemies and protect a young female elf and a wand which could literally destroy everything when in the wrong hands.
It was pretty great seeing these fantasy characters onscreen together and from the brief introductions, I think David Ayer got the communities and their personalities right. The orcs are these underground, metal loving beasts, the Elves are very posh and uptown where everything is perfect. Fairies are just the neighbourhood pests. However, even though Bright is just under 2 hours long, I do think given a few more minutes, these communities could have been explored a little more.
We jump into the film assuming everyone knows what these fantasy characters are. It would have been nice to engage in a little more background information. For example, when being introduced to Elves, they show the road leading to their community with a few billboards, you see a fancy elf woman coming out of an expensive car. What should have been shown here was a bit more of the community, what their part of the city looks like, what kind of jobs they had, how they lived at home etc. I’m not asking for a massive back story, just a little more insight.
Joel Edgerton and Will Smith worked great together, they had that little buddy cop vibe going on and you could understand their frustrations with the world and working together. It’s been said that Bright should have been a series rather than film but considering they gave us a little back story of why there was a bit of tension between the two, I do think this was enough to get us through the story. Ayer didn’t do the whole first mission thing where they’ve just met, and Wade doesn’t want to work with an Orc etc which saved a lot of time. It’s been done so many times before with buddy cop films, it’s actually quite refreshing to just bypass that and get straight to the point.
You do sympathise with Jakoby a lot from the beginning because the whole story is basically surrounded by racial issues, so you do understand how Jakoby feels and understand his actions. The same can be said about Wade. Smith wasn’t the guy with all the great one liners (quite like Suicide Squad making that the Will Smith Show), he was great, we had the old school Will Smith back without him trying too hard to be Will Smith.
Other great performances came from Noomi Rapace and Lucy Fry who both gave us some great action sequences but one character that intrigued me and I wanted to know a bit more about but didn’t get it was Edgar Ramirez’s character Kandomere (basically an elf cop or detective).
I also wasn’t too keen on the soundtrack as it did sound like Suicide Squad just spat all over it, I was expecting something a little different for the tone of the film. All in all I did enjoy it more than others have mentioned, there were good action sequences, it’s not particularly smart and you can predict what’s coming next but my main issue was that introductions into this world we’ve just been thrown in could have been handled a bit better. Knowing there is a second film has given me a lot of hope and hopefully the mistakes made this time will be rectified in the next instalment. I do think there is enough material to create a trilogy rather than a series.
Have you seen Bright? What did you think? Has this been the most controversial film of 2017? Let me know and comment below!