Dir; David Ayer. Starring; Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace. 2017. TV-MA. Color. 117 min.
“Bright” is the jaw-dropping new fantasy action film from director David Ayer. Jaw-dropping in the sense that it is so awful you will be incapable of closing your mouth as you are constantly screaming at your television due to the stupidity of what is happening before your eyes. Characters are one-dimensional, action sequences are loud and obnoxious, and the script is racism 101 as presented by the unintelligent. The director of “Suicide Squad” has out done himself in presenting us with an exercise in non-sensical moviemaking.
In an alternate reality, Orcs, Elves, Fairies, and various other mystical creatures have existed alongside humans for thousands of years. In the modern day, Elves have become the rich elite and Orcs are the impoverished working class/gang members (white people versus minorities, in case Ayer doesn’t make the metaphor blatantly obvious enough). Will Smith plays officer Daryl Ward, a South Central L.A. cop hardened by years of policing one of the most dangerous cities in America. His new partner is Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton, the only actor actually trying in this mess), the first Orc police officer in history. Ward hates his new partner, as humans hate Orcs in general. Jakoby has dreamed his whole life of being a cop and, despite the blatant racism throughout the precinct, he is proud to wear that shield.
During a routine neighborhood stop, the two men encounter Tikka (Lucy Fry), a young Elf frightened and afraid. She has stolen a magic wand from her sinister boss Leilah (A forgettable Noomi Rapace), who must get it back to bring about the apocalypse, or something like that. Magic Wands are the ultimate weapon, but only a Bright can yield such power. Don’t ask me why or what makes one a Bright, just go with it. Corrupt cops, dangerous Mexican gangsters, and evil Elf ninjas quickly learn that the trio have a wand, and all will stop at nothing to get this powerful weapon for themselves. Thus ensues an overlong chase sequence of random explosions and night club shootouts as Ward and Jakoby fight for their lives to protect the world from ultimate destruction.
Almost nothing in this film makes sense. Bad guys walk into rooms and just start aimlessly shooting machine guns at the camera. Cars flip about on a whim, constantly defying gravity and logic. My favorite example of how dumb this movie is comes with the head of the Mexican gang, who is in a wheelchair. He wants the wand so he can walk again. Our heroes and the gangsters get into a multi-block car chase, shoot at each other as they run through countless clubs and apartments, before the gangsters finally have them cornered. Out of nowhere, the head honcho literally rolls in to make his menacing speech. The guy is in a damn wheelchair, how the hell did he keep up with all this chaos?! And on top of that, as soon as his speech is done, three Elf ninjas show up out of nowhere and take out a legion of gangsters just in the nick of time so that the heroes can escape and the action can continue. Keep in mind, this is just ONE example of the idiocy that exists here.
“Bright” is on the intelligence level of Sunday morning cartoons, such as a “My Little Pony”. If this were made for four-year-olds, I would have no issue. Instead, Ayer tries to infuse this story with the same gritty realism that made him famous with his far superior “End of Watch”. Needless to say, that was a bad idea. Corrupt cops, violent street gangs, and strip clubs mixed with magic wands and Orc racism is utterly laughable.
Will Smith has made some horrible movies throughout his career, always banking on the audience to care because he has that “Fresh Prince” charisma. In “Bright”, the only time Smith seems to be trying comes during slow motion shots of him shooting a shotgun while looking cool. Fun drinking game, every time Smith yells “Oh Shit!” take a drink. That way you won’t be sober by the end of this film, and hopefully the alcohol helps you forget what just happened over the last two hours.
Suck Factor: 7 out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
*The Suck Factor! – How it Works
I’ve flipped the switch on the standard rating system for film criticism. Instead of rating a movie with stars or letters representing how good a film is, I rank films from 0 to 7 to tell you how much a movie SUCKS! So if the film is a masterpiece, like “The Godfather” for example, then it gets a 0 on my scale, meaning the movie gives 0 SUCKS! If the movie is absolutely terrible, for instance every Michael Bay film, it scores a 7 so you know to avoid it at all costs.
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