So I’m late to the Bright party, but I did finally watch it.
I saw a lot of mixed reviews on Bright when it came out. I’ll admit to being a little hesitant about it when I sat down to watch it with my husband. But armed with some awesome sushi take-out and uninterested in flipping through Netflix to find something else to watch, I decided to try it.
Short review is that I really enjoyed it.
The character interaction felt authentic to me. Will Smith brought all his Will Smith charm and humor to it. Jakoby came off sympathetically (actually much more sympathetically than Ward did).
The race relations analogy might have been heavy handed, but it pleasantly surprised me that it didn’t cast the blame completely on the humans or completely on the Orcs. The actual expression of it in the film felt honest, and not like a club to bludgeon viewers with. YMMV, though.
The movie had some cool effects, especially what elf girl Tikka did to the assassin. The way the wand kind of constantly warped reality when it came out was a nice step.
I also really enjoyed the elves. It was nice to see a little bit of a change of pace for them, rather than the nature-connected, tree-dwelling stereotype that is common in even urban fantasy. The Fed Elf’s character design caught my eye in particular.
And of course, you can’t beat Elves with machine guns. Why don’t creators modernize elves more? That was awesome.
The villain, the dark elf Leilah, was honestly very lackluster. She wasn’t creative, she wasn’t scary, and she wasn’t interesting. Just a single-minded freight train in skin tight leather that slaughtered everyone in her way. Poison, the wheelchair bound gangbanger, is infinitely more interesting than Leilah. And he’s barely in the movie! He has dreams and desires that are concrete. What does Leilah want? To find her want and bring back the Dark Lord.
But why? Why does she want to bring back the Dark Lord? How did it benefit her? More evil magic around? What? If there was more depth to this than the movie didn’t portray it at all.
The reveal that Tikka was her sister didn’t move me emotionally, nor did it really seem to influence the plot or the villains treatment of her. It seemed like a last minute attempt to give Leilah some kind of character, but it was too late at that point.
And this is a little thing, but I could have done without the killing-the-baby scene during the introduction of Leilah. Ok, yes, we get it, she’s evil. It didn’t really convince me any more of her pure evilness than any of the other onscreen moments they gave her. It just made my stomach turn. The scene wasn’t quite as brutal as the similar scene from the beginning of Battlestar Galactica so I kept watching. But I really don’t like that kind of throwaway emotional equivalent of a jump scare. I saw the scene in Battlestar Galactica shortly after my first son was born and it was enough that I stopped the show and never tried watching it again.
Bright Is Enjoyable To Watch
All that aside, I found Bright to be a really enjoyable movie to eat Sushi to on a Friday night. I like the world and wouldn’t mind going back to it. The plot moved quickly, the action was enjoyable, and the movie (for the most part) had engaging characters. I would definitely check it out.
What was your favorite part of Bright? Let me know in the comments below.
Do you want another opinion? Urban-Fantasy.com Contributor Jemma Jablowski wrote a review of Bright too.