I have got to say, after just finished watching Netflix's BRIGHT: 3 minutes short of 2 hours, it had really been an entertaining watch! (Watch here on Netflix).
The hallmarks of director David Ayer's work is present and on-point. From the visual aesthetics to theatrical emotions, to making a believable urban environment of this scale, is much appreciated (from where I'm watching) - from the golden-curb railings in Elf town, to the entrance barricade at the police precinct, to the Shield of Life-hideout, and Fogteeth Orc clan hideout (but what's the deal with the swimming pool with elvish roots? LOL) - much effort has been made to bring this concept to celluloid-life, and it shows.
FIRST IMPRESSION: I'd felt that this film was pretty "self-aware", and while the situation-n-scene are "alien" to me personally (living here in Singapore for close to 5 decades and only seeing TV shows and films about the streets of USA), they make for a realistic view of their fictional+fact world, IMHO.
And while "BRIGHT" is the name given to describe the person(s) abe to hold the magic wand, I've felt that the "bright" is also the police siren lights that bathe the night skies with their cries (versus "bright light of cinema", that which it is not that close to be, IMHO).
I can argue the background designs "lack depth", but I know I am being excruciatingly picky here (I just want this film to succeed, people), and that I reckon the focus should be on the main characters/protagonists, before we get into the nitty gritty of their lives - which for all intents and purposes, are grounded very much in our "real world" as much as it is in the suped-up urban fantasy-setting created for BRIGHT. So serious kudos on the design all around!
The characters are serviceable, with Will Smith in slight OTT-mode (but it's all good in da hood) playing the wise and jaded Jedi master, while Joel Edgerton shines thru his latex mask as the eager to please more-probably self-aware rookie killing people for the first time. The elves are awesome, the orcs are awesome, only the humans "suck", don't they? Damn even the police (some select ones, anyways :p) are "worse" than the homies here!
The emotion wrought in the opening sequence from Will's family really lays on the empathy of "family" in the beginning, only to be forgotten as the film progresses. He never really mentions his family much at all, especially when the sh*t hits the fan (ok, he does call the wife.. i'm just being a bitch here :p), and even as he laid in the recovery bed at the end, didn't he? Just selfishly thinking about survival - which interestingly would be the notion in the lore of "Bright" - where "survival" comes "first", innit?
But without arguing the merits of the script nor intent of the filmmakers, I can only surmise (in my own "self-serving brilliance" :p) that this film is about laying down the rules of the world, while introducing the characters that dwell within it, to make it as believable as much as we are watching it, to feel for it and to enjoy it, and with that, I personally felt BRIGHT has accomplished this basic need, and hope that in future installments - at least in the sequel since ordered - we will get further INTO the characters, as they would be the glue that binds the story together, beyond the explosions and dripping magic wands, IMHO.
But that fight in the convenience store though? WICKED INTENSE!
And more chatting in the parole car, easily the most fun of the film, trash-talking humans hazing/oppressing the rookie/orcs lol
And while it is not bursting with "originality" (well, it sorta "IS", I'm just trying desperately to be "clever-er"), the concept / conceit of humans integrating with fantasy elements is essentially interesting still, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next to these guys and their world!
BRIGHT covered #onTOYSREVIL
BRIGHT covered on #popcornX
BRIGHT: "In an LA rife with interspecies tensions, a human cop and his orc partner stumble on a powerful object and become embroiled in a prophesied turf war."
Is it worth a watch? In my book, YES.
Is it a "highly recommended watch"?
Yes, if you enjoy this genre of film. I cannot deny its entertainment value :)
Is it a MUST-Watch? No. The earth did not shake :p
Is it worth a year-end celebratory watch?
"Yes" - If only for the pseudo-festive "light-up" in the FogTeeth clan hideout LOL
And if you do not want to watch the film and require further story-spoilers to sate your curiosity, head to this wikipedia entry for the low-down :)
BE WARNED: This film might not be wholly suitable for children (rated M18), with enough violence and inter-species racism to require explanation, and some nasty bare-breasts shown, humans and orcs both - both of which tainted my own viewing pleasures LOL