Contrary to how critics have felt about David Ayer’s ‘Bright’ (Netflix’s newest attempt at a movie), I honestly felt that it was better than what it was given credit for. Though, beneath its visual splendor and thrilling action lies social commentary we have been exposed to before with the same reluctant-detective-teaming-up-with-a-different-species-to-right-a-wrong premise we have seen in ‘Zootopia’, ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’, and many others. Only this time, it feels more like ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as a crime drama set in present day Los Angeles (If Netflix did not step up to the plate, the film could have been distributed by Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, and MGM). There are orcs, elves, fairies, and dwarves (Maybe we will see hobbits in the sequel?) all living side by side with humans.
As expected, there is bound to be prejudice and racial tension among the different species’ (orcs especially). Cue in “reluctant detective”, Daryl Ward (Smith)- a police officer dedicated to his job who has a mistrust of orcs, especially when it comes to “different species”, Nick Jakoby (an unrecognizable Joel Edgerton)- the first orc police officer. “I didn’t ask for it,” Ward says “but the whole world is watching.” This sentence is an example of how predictable and by-the-numbers the storytelling is; to add insult to injury, certain lines are repeated just for sympathy. Of course, Ward and Jakoby have to work together, being that they are cops driving the same vehicle; yet this is only the beginning as a distress call leads them to a safe house where they cross paths with Tikka (Lucy Fry)- an elf in possession of a magic wand who happens to be a bright – someone who can touch said wand without dying. They eventually have to settle their differences while protecting this wand (and Tikka) from everyone who wants possession of it to fulfill their utmost desires; especially Leilah (Noomi Rapace) – a powerful elf who wants it to conjure up The Dark Lord and destroy the world. I think you can guess what happens there.
With the way I was describing ‘Bright’, you may think I was being harsh, but it is the honest truth. ‘Bright’ is that movie you have seen before, just with more of a fantasy element. My girlfriend liked it, mainly because of its “What Would Happen If…” story line to balance its themes of Tolkein fantasy and prophecy plot. As for me, I am mixed. I have heard people say they did not like it, while the Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at 87%. Do not take my word for it; whether you like it will be up to your viewing. Get on Netflix and see it for yourself.