How excited was I about a Netflix Original starring Will Smith and releasing right before Christmas?
Pretty excited. I love Will Smith.
How much more excited was I when I found out his partner (b/c cop movie . . . ish) was an ORC?
Urban Fantasy is my jam. But it was more than the typical yay-new-movie-about-things-I-love excitement. I might be reaching, but having an UF Christmas release movie starring a huge name like Will Smith lends an air of legitimacy to a largely overlooked genre.
I mean, I love UF, and I’m going to read UF regardless of whether or not it’s a Big Deal genre, but it’s still nice to see it marketed to such a large demographic. If for no other reason than maybe it’ll win more readers to the suspect pool.
At least that was my mindset going into it. Unfortunately, the movie was terrible. REALLY terrible. And not in a stupid-noobs-got-the-lore-wrong kind of way. That would’ve been best case scenario. No, it was awful in a lack-of-any-meaningful-development kind of way.
I’m talking characters AND world-building AND (thinly veiled and somewhat offensive) metaphors AND plot.
There was NO development.
Ward (Will) was an ass. A graphically-kill-a-sentient-creature-b/c-“fairy lives don’t matter today” kind of ass. His one redeeming quality was that he seemed to hate his Orc partner not b/c he was a racist bastard (like every other cop) but b/c he had legitimate cause to think Partner let the Orc who shot him get away (b/c Orc solidarity).
Jakoby (Partner) was probably the best part of the movie, blatant Noble Savage that he was, but even his courage and optimism couldn’t counter the lack of background. On three separate occasions, I thought I knew what it meant to be an “unblooded” Orc, and I was wrong every time.
Speaking of this world’s terminology, how ‘bout that title? BRIGHT. A Bright is an elf or less frequently, a human who can physically touch a wand without exploding (I can’t remember for sure whether or not Orcs can safely handle a wand, but I don’t think so). And I do mean exploding. Like . . . some kind of bomb that isn’t a nuke, but also isn’t cobbled together in some delinquent’s basement—sorry, I don’t know much about bombs—a decent sized explosion, in any case.
Why 99.9% of everything explodes when they touch a wand (that comes from who-knows-where), was never addressed. Neither was what makes the remaining 0.01% so special. Like so many other things in BRIGHT, they just are.
Then there were the supporting roles, many of which seemed to exist for the sole purpose of highlighting the Elves top dogness. Like FBI Elf. Also, the Orcs weren’t elite law enforcement or particularly magical. They weren’t even run-of-the-mill humans. They were gangbangers (<———one of the aforementioned offensive metaphors).
Basically, what could have been a friggin’ cool movie of the urban fantasy persuasion was instead a poorly executed commentary on racism in the modern world. Not recommended. *heavy sigh*