I first heard about Bright because it was getting hammered in the reviews. 30% on rotten tomatoes (lower than Trump’s approval rating), but at the same time 93% of Google users said they liked it:
Movie reviewers are all snobs and it was Boxing Day, so my tolerance for low-brow entertainment was high.
So I decided to side with the 93% of Google users and jumped in.
It’s gritty — brutal in places — lots of shooting, gangs, maybe a car chase (I don’t remember, but it seems like there would have been). All the things I would expect from a movie with Will Smith holding a gun on the poster.
The plot was reasonably engaging, as three-act, good-guy/bad-guy, character-arc, conflict-resolution type movies tend to be. It moved along at a decent clip, but I sat toward the back of my seat most of the time.
I finished the whole movie, and I only felt the need to get up and go for a walk once.
It sort-of-only-just passes the Bechdel-Wallace test (features two women who talk to each other about something other than a man), in a way that I would expect to see if a movie was attempting to do just that. But let’s face it, this is a teenage-boy movie, no one wants to see chicks talking about stuff.
All of these things come together to make a perfectly acceptable movie.
They went and ruined it with a truly baffling selection of words. Those words are:
- Magic Task Force (seriously!)
- Magic wand
- Dark Lord
If you were to take the exact same movie and replace those words with something less … (I wish it was 1997 so I could say ‘gay’ without being labelled homophobic) … fairy-like, it would be a good old fashioned violent shoot-em-up.
The magic wand they tried so valiantly to protect could have been some priceless relic.
The Dark Lord could have been any Russian name, such is the subtle racism of the American Movie Machine.
The Magic Task Force might have well have been the FBI like every other movie.
Elves were straight up just posh people that could have been called ‘The Elite’.
I can’t think of another name for fairies but really there was just one of them, trying to get into a bird feeder. Will Smith’s wife asks him to sort it out so he beats it to death with a broom stick in his bath robe (seriously). I feel that in the Reader’s Digest version of this movie, that would be the first scene to fall to the cutting room floor, thus negating the requirement to come up with an alternate name.
If you can see past these naff words, and want to watch a run-of-the-mill, run-around-shooting-people movie, Bright’s got you covered. If you wince at the thought of Will Smith with a Big Gun saying “oh, no, it’s the Magic Police” then this movie is not for you.