Starring Will Smith and Joel Egerton the politics of Bright are almost as nonsensical as it’s magical logic, creating a world that seems to defy sense.Set in a world that is essentially a modern LA with the addition of Tolkien-esque creatures such as orcs, elves and more, the film stars Will Smith as a human cop partnered with Joel Egerton’s orc. Together the two face off against other cops, other orcs, fairies, Latino gangs and more, all to do… something.
The simple plot of the film follows Smith’s Daryl Ward and Egerton’s Nick Jakoby through a very long night involving a found Magic Wand (capitalization the film’s) and two feuding elf sisters. The two sisters are Brights, which mean that they are able to wield Wands without dying. But as Jakoby tells Ward, it’s like a nuclear bomb that grants wishes is on the loose.
Bright attempts to be a political film, commenting on a racial relationship and police brutality. It fails repeatedly.
As written by Max Landis and directed by David Ayer, the film never understands how to use commentary well, coming off as a bad ripoff of Zootopia more than its own story. Never getting past its initial point of “don’t be bad to other people who look different from you,” Bright complicates its message by treating multiple races of humans through disgusting stereotypes.
The supporting cast of Bright suffers throughout, with Noomi Rapace treated terribly as the arguable antagonist, despite never developing the character beyond “evil.” A motivationless villain, her Leilah is treated terribly by the script, made into one of the movie’s many malicious and underdeveloped women. Instead, the movie’s real villain is Racism. This despite the film ending with the concept of stereotypes saving lives.
I would explain the plot of this movie, but by the end, I completely gave up on caring. There is no character development by anyone, and the action scenes could be filmed better by YouTubers. The entire film’s problem could have been solved if the information wasn’t completely withheld by authorities. This only cements the film’s anti-authoritarian vibe, which only adds to the problems of the movie’s non-existent message.
Bright is a movie for no one. If you want an allegory about racism, watch Zootopia. If you want to see Will Smith play a cop in a fantastical world, watch Men In Black. But if you want to see a movie that seemingly rejects its own message time and again while making actors suffer on screen and creating some of the weakest female characters I have seen this year, THEN you can watch Bright.