I never saw a trailer, instead, I heard about Netflix’s first feature film on the good old fashioned radio. A couple days later Joel finally convinced me to actually watch it. My first impression of Bright was that it’s similar to the John Wick films, but with even more gunfights and explosions. (I didn’t even think that was possible!) The character’s in Bright are interesting. The story is admittedly intriguing. But the plot was so cluttered I really didn’t care anymore and just wanted Will Smith to touch the wand already!… A quick word of caution: This is NOT a family-friendly film, as the trio randomly ends up in strip clubs, there’s blatant drug use, violence, and all the cop characters sprinkle adult language in nearly every sentence.
I am not the target market for this film, and that’s fine. But I have to admit I loved Jakoby the first moment he came on the screen. He’s an Orc, which means humans and elves hate him, but because he’s a cop, Orcs also hate him. My biggest complaint about him is we don’t get the chance to learn more about his background. Imagine for a moment that when Tikka and Jakoby first collide, magic makes her see a condensed flashback of his upbringing and why he was determined to be the first Orc cop. Just a thought.
Will Smith plays a police officer who (much like Mr. Incredible) is tired of “cleaning up” after the city. He just wants to hang in there until he can retire. But then he gets partnered with the only Orc cop in the world because no one else wants to be partnered with Smith or the Orc. His character has a nifty name, but I always saw him as Will Smith.
Thankfully, the bad guy was actually bad. Like, scary bad. And since the bad guys don’t think they’re bad, it’s really good! They remind me of the vampires from Underworld, actually.
Overall, the beginning is good. The end is great. Yet the rest of the film is like watching a sporadic version of John Wick 2000 years after Frodo destroyed the ring, but instead of seeking revenge for the murder of a puppy, everyone else wants him dead so they can see if the wand will give them power or make them spontaneously combust.
Below I scribbled some of my questions from the middle part. Hopefully, if you haven’t seen the film yet, I wrote them in a way so they don’t include any spoilers. I was confused when:
- Jakoby was an Orc but also not an Orc…?
- Because of the setting I thought Smith called a prostitute to warn her to get his daughter and get out of town…
- Six-shooters produce an endless barrage of bullets.
- If Tikka was the only escapee from an ultra-powerful group, she would have to be pretty strong. So why is she fascinated by the hand dryer at a gas station?
- So the Orc Godfather guy wants the wand above all else. They watch Tikka use the wand. Then they let them saunter out the door with it…?
- Smith’s character “had pure hate in his eyes” towards Jakoby, yet gave up his career and endangered his family for him.
- Orcs are supposed to be strong yet Jakoby was stuck behind a measly metal fence inside the burning building.
- Then the Godfather guy shows up at the house in the end because?…He wanted to watch, I guess.
Maybe I’m just really dense and this film was over my head, but one thing is clear: Netflix has a massive movie budget. And they are prepared to use it. So the real question is when will Netflix release Bright on DVD?
Report Card: Bright (by Netflix)
Overall Score: B-
Karianne is the founder of Windmill Ways. She plays the cello professionally and currently works as an Art Director for a charity. Because she loves animated shows and movies, she studies 3D animation and graduated with a BFA with the unfortunate class of 2020. Her dream vacation would be just staying home, but "home" being a glamorous cabin somewhere in the mountains surrounded by forest.
Favorite band: Lord Huron
Favorite book: This Present Darkness
Favorite quote: "Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)
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