By Freddie Thomas-Neher
Bright is a story in an alternate reality, where elves, orcs and humans are all living in coexistence after defeating ‘The Dark Lord’ thousands of years ago. Elves are the higher class, living in Elftown and all they really do is go shopping., and look down on orcs and humans. Human live in-between of elves and orcs’ social standards, while orcs are heavy metal loving street thugs who look down on any orc that isn’t ‘blooded’ (a weird orc-y bar mitzvah thing). Orcs are disrespected constantly due to them taking the side of the Dark Lord during the war. It’s basically if Lord of the Rings was history. They also have only just got their first orc on the much-hated LA police force, Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton, The Great Gatsby), an unblooded orc who is partnered with the reluctant Daryl Ward (Will Smith, Suicide Squad). They are threatened when they find an elf girl, Tikka (Lucy Fry), in possession of a Shield of Light member’s Magic Wand. The Shield of Light are a group of mostly renegade elves and some humans who use magic to attempt to bring the Dark Lord back. The Magic wand is wanted over all three races with Ward and Jakoby having to keep it safe from gangsters, orcs, police officers, feds, and the Wand’s former owner, a dangerous elf named Leilah (Noomi Rapace, What Happened To Monday).
The concept is fantastic, and the makeup for the elves and the orcs are amazing, with the elves just looking slightly different from humans, and orcs
it is held back by a lazy script, with even Will Smith being reduced to a surly, pessimistic character that seemingly views orcs and elves just as stereotypically as everybody else in Bright. It even came from the writer of Chronicle, and the director of films like Suicide Squad and End of Watch, hitting a new low for both Max Landis and David Ayer. Although, it is a brilliant idea that pulls up the poor script. Even with the not-there character development, the performances of the actors are very good, especially Edgerton’s portrayal of an orc cast away from both the orc community and the human. For its newly announced sequel, David Ayer and his team definitely need to work on their scripting, backgrounding, and the length (it is nearly two hours long).
Overall, it is enjoyable in a ‘what the hey’ way, but is not the big hit Netflix will have hoped for, having dropped $90 million on the project, and won a bidding war for the rights to it. For their first major budget movie, it is subpar compared to previous achievements like Stranger Things or The Crown, and for this film to succeed, they need to look at what made them good and apply it into their films, because Netflix can be the future of cinema. Bright isn’t their future.