Review: Bright (2017)


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/04/review-bright-2017.html


#2

I liked it, as did most of my geek friends. It was Shadowrun with out the cyber punk. I guess Alien Nation is a decent analogy too.

Yeah, basically, it is buddy cop movie with a scenario twist. It wasn’t ground breakingly original, nor did it have some impactful moral of the story - but I did find it entertaining and wanted to spend more time in the world.


#3

Yeah, the story needed a little polish, maybe another pass or two to reconsider whether the characters were right…but otherwise, a solid 6-7/10 movie. A 90m budget is too much, though.


#4

Yeah, the Orc and Elf Unions mean even the extras don’t work for scale.


#5

I liked it well enough. The interesting setting however failed to make it more than a VERY conventional buddy cop film. The story is nowhere near as tight as training day and the move nowhere near as good as a result. But it was certainly better than the Lethal Weapon sequels…


#6

I liked it. Sure, it had plenty of flaws, but it wasn’t a huge blockbuster, it was the modern equivalent of ‘straight to video’, so I had my expectations adjusted accordingly.

The part of the movie I really liked was the take on race. Moving out of the normal human-on-human racism to a there-are-actually-different-races scenario added some interesting depth to the situation. There’s a scene when a white cop is chewing out Will Smith’s character about how he should get rid of his Orc partner which had some interesting undertones to it. It made me wonder if this world had less human on human racism because humans were forced together because of the “us vs them” introduced by there being other distinct races.


#7

I viewed it as the mediocre pilot for a promising long-form series. The class/race allegories were awful and clumsy, but that doesn’t mean a better story couldn’t be told here, and the universe — as poorly sketched out as it was — was fascinating to me. It seems like a Tolkein-esque war two thousand years ago had the same religious/social/cultural impact on Bright’s world as Christianity had on ours. I’d love to see that idea explored in depth.

I want five seasons of this universe, co-written by David Simon and Lev Grossman.


#8

I liked Crash


#9

Now, that’s damning with faint praise.

We watched this movie over the weekend, and I couldn’t figure out if it was meant to be a stand alone, or a two hour pilot because the story is pretty cobbled together and there was next to no character development.


#10

I suppose that I should have been clearer about what I liked. I thought that sketching out the world was done deftly and with light strokes…You’re shown rather than told enough to understand the setting. The interplay between the two main characters was well done, and Jacoby’s character was interesting, although the writing of Will Smith’s seemed to be undecided on just how much anti- to put in his anti-hero. I liked the way that we were primed to dislike the feds, but that was misdirection.

In the end, I don’t understand the hate or the love that this movie seems to generate. I’d rate it 3 out of 5 stars. I think if I had paid $18 dollars to see it in the movie theater, I might have been disappointed. But as willmore pointed out, direct to streaming is the equivalent of direct to video or (for us older types) made for television movies. I just wish that the interesting setting and not-bad chemistry between the main characters had been in the service of a bit more STORY.


#11

Yep. I fell asleep watching it. The last movies that did that to me were The Saint and the Blair Witch Project.


#12

Man, I really wanted to like this, it certainly had an interesting premise. It won a few points when Ward complains that this is some Rampart level shit going down… And then lost all those points with the same kind of Rampart shit at the denouement.

The fantasy element I most want to see, is police agencies getting better at what citizens think they should be doing.


#13

I’m looking forward to Bright 2!

Bright 2, Brighter, Bad Boys in Mordor, Orcs Gone Wild, The Last Inferni, and Wand Wars

I like that they’re having some fun with it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoFqmF9GHWg


#14

Ditto. I’d been looking forward to it for months, even though I knew it wasn’t going to be particularly good. Instead I got … dull. I think they told the least interesting story they could have chosen. There’s no emotional weight to “oh noes they’re going to summon the Dark Lord” because we don’t get anything about him other than that he existed and was bad. Even 2 minutes of flashback to his ~Evil Regime~ would have helped.

And frankly, I think Will Smith being in it did it a disservice. He was playing himself in a cop uniform. His one-liners got old about 5 minutes in. Meanwhile we get a two-second throwaway special effect that is Background Centaur Cop - now that’s something I want to know about!

Like @cahutchins said. Better as a series, with someone else in Smith’s role. Just like they did with Alien Nation. I’d watch that forever.


#15

Don’t even get me started on Blair Witch. :wink:

@simonize: I’m not saying there weren’t elements that saved this movie from being a “I want my 2 hours back” experience. Jacoby was, indeed, the best character in the movie, and he did have reasonable chemistry with Ward. Yet, I don’t see the point of Noomi Rapace being in this movie, like, at all. Any young woman could’ve filled that role. And the whole time, I’m wondering what happened to the hobbits, which is silly, but there’s elves and orks, so why no hobbits? Or wizards for that matter.


#16

Agreed, I liked the little clues they dropped. And it was a thousand times better than Suicide Squad.


#17

I saw only the first 20, 30 minutes or so. Looked like a move that I’d find entertaining, if I had the time to watch it. But of all these fantasy/out world mash-ups, the one I’d really love to visit is that of “Cast a Deadly Spell”. Man, if that one had been made into a series.


#18

I thought about his, too, but this somehow breaks my suspension of disbelief since everything I saw about human Los Angeles, down to the distribution of social roles with regards to skin colors, seemed to be in sync with what I usually see in movies. And that particular environment came to be by chattel slavery of black Africans by white Europeans and Americans.


#19

Who, incidentally, wasn’t allowed to serve in the Mounted Unit of the LAPD because he couldn’t ride.

(Joke shamelessly stolen from Donna Barr.)


#20

I find that one actually defensible. Of course, it is a movie reference to the viewer, to be understood as such, but it’s not necessarily one within the universe. “Shrek” might well be a actual term in that world, based on the German Schreck/Schrecken (getting startled, terror) as was the Ogre’s name. Kind of like the shootinting-the-sword-guy scene in Indiana Jones II, referencing Indiana Jones I. Which was funny, because shooting didn’t work this time, even though II was actually set one year before I.

With the Fairies jokes, it’s different. It’s the “today” that kills the possibility to treat it like the Shrek-jokes, since it indeed makes it clear that such a slogan exists and that it refers to Fairies. And why would it, unless they are indeed an sentient species?