Got to watch Bright tonight. I have been looking forward to this since I saw the trailer from SDCC. I was impressed then. And I’ll be honest. It was worth the wait. I enjoy fantasy elements, and this movie sets up the basis for a world that could be used to write a ton of stories.
While the plot is similar to most Cop movies where a couple of Cops end up between a ton of criminals, bad cops, the feds, and everything else in between the addition of the fantasy elements allows for some impressive ideas. A world where Magic isn’t some hidden society, where the normal world isn’t just left to live in ignorance of things. That by itself is something that is new and interesting.
Far too many stories seem to be based on the idea of keeping the public ignorant of everything that is occurring in the story. That we as the public get to live in blissful ignorance of the greater universe. “Bright” takes this a different way, by adjusting history just enough to include all the fantastic creatures and beings of lore into the modern world. This is set after all in a crime-ridden Los Angeles.
Will Smith, who has a rather extensive career already, brings his talent and his personality to the opening of this world we see before us. His partner was a “Diversity” hire Orc, who is not exactly liked by the Orc Community. When the movie starts, Smith is just getting back on the job after being shot in the chest by another Orc. He survives thanks to his tactical gear, but there is a heavy dose of mistrust between him and his partner.
Through the movie, you see not just the fantasy aspect of the world, but as with all good movies, a reflection of the world we all live in. This at the end of the day is a movie that talks to us not just as entertainment but as a message. There are only a few absolute bad guys in this movie, everyone else exists in a social moral ambiguity that can be judged by the viewer.
I think the thing that is really striking about this movie is that, once again, I’m holding an opinion on a movie in direct contradiction to the Critics again. First with Batman v Superman, followed by Suicide Squad, then Justice League, and now Bright. The people who are paid to be critics of movies universally have hated the movies I’ve liked this year, while the audience has said otherwise. So What does this in particular mean? I haven’t gotten a chance to see Last Jedi yet, but it’s gone in the exact opposite direction, critically acclaimed, audience rejected according to the Rotten Tomatoes Aggregator site.
Frankly, I’m not sure what this may mean in the short or long term. Critics are, universally, a different audience than the actual viewers and fans of franchises and movies. Netflix has already ordered a sequel, and there are many people in many of the Facebook Groups I’m a part of who would want to see a series built on this movie world. We’ll have to wait and see what comes from all of this.