Bright review: David Ayer directs this reported $90 million budgeted Netflix movie, but does is shine or fizzle out?

Bright review by Awais Irfan.

Bright review
Bright review

Netflix has had a pretty strong 2017, having released an abundance of great, new original content from TV shows to film. To round off the year, their biggest film to date has arrived: Bright.

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Set in a world where mystical creatures live side-by-side, divided by old heritage and deep-rooted hatred intolerance for one another, two cops – a human, Daryl (Will Smith), and an orc Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) – find themselves entangled in quite the mess when they accidentally stumble across a powerful weapon. With everyone desperate to get their hands on it, the pair must protect it and try to find out why it’s so sought after and just what the hell is going on. On the surface, the concept is fascinating – that of blending together the fantasy, crime and mystery genres – and the premise is cool. But, in its execution… Not so much.

Bright review
Bright review

Bright is a mess. Director Ayer tries to return to his End of Watch success and blend it with lots of fantastical elements and lots of mythology but, instead of working as a crime film or a buddy-cop comedy or a fantasy epic, it tries to be all of that and more and fails in all of that and more. Bright is a big juggling act; the screenplay is so overstuffed with ideas and concepts and it just feels so sprawling and convoluted. The film constantly feels like it’s meandering around aimlessly, going from one scene to the next without much direction and it feels so choppy and confusing as a result. Something happens, and then it’s over and we’ve moved onto something else entirely in mere seconds and it creates for a film that is so uneven and jarring.

Bright review
Bright review

As far as what the film does get right, Will Smith and Joel Edgerton are a solid pairing. Both actors try to bring what they can to these roles and they’re charismatic actors that are charismatic enough to watch. The characters are pretty one-dimensional all around but the pair do bring a fair bit to Daryl and Jakoby. The premise itself is fairly interesting and the film does touch upon some cool concepts, if all just left a little undercooked. The action is also pretty well shot too, and the film has some timely things to say about race and acceptance – if a little too heavy-handed. There is certainly enjoyment to be had with Bright and this world in the first act and the concept is commendable, but it’s just a shame that Ayer loses his footing and the film derails massively in its second and third acts.

Bright was certainly luminous and bright for a while, but it’s a light that dwindles out all too quickly and disappointingly to really be all that great after all.

Bright review by Awais Irfan, December 2017.

Bright is released on Netflix on December 22nd, 2017.

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Bright