Director: David Ayer.
Upon watching the trailer I was intrigued and it immediately reminded me of one of my favourite sci-fi films from the late 80’s, Alien Nation. Essentially it’s the same story at its core, human cop forced to work with another cop but of an entirely different species. There’s obviously the racial element that runs throughout the films, the acceptance and understanding of each other’s cultural differences.
So instead of the bald-headed, sour-milk drinking newcomers, Bright goes a little further, and daringly so with elves and orcs, and all the magic that comes with them. Setting them in a melting pot of LA where they all co-inhabit together under a supposedly peaceful truce. But there’s a mystical weapon that threatens the world and the two cops are forced to partner up and save the city.
David Ayer is at the helm, and as said before, whilst I’m a fan of his End of Watch, Fury and in part Suicide Squad (I blame the editing) he’s also responsible for Sabotage and in the other part, Suicide Squad. So he’s hit or miss with his films and one can’t be sure until you’ve watched them. Sadly, this falls directly into the miss basket and I’ll get to why shortly.
Smith goes into Men In Black mode mixed with I,Robot as officer Daryl Ward and Edgerton dons the mask, makeup and fangs as Alien Nation’s Sam Francisco, orc name: Nick Jakoby. The relationship works and the tension in chemistry is prevalent but it’s titled off balance with the supporting cast. They all play their part well, but I feel it’s the story and premise just gets in the way.
Expecting the audience to understand what’s gone on and trying to accept this fabricated world is hard without little to no explanation. Same goes for the total plot of the film, which is simple at its core but the supporting myths surrounding it are weak, or possibly being too much, trying to be smart. It’s this that throws the whole film into a mess.
I’m glad they didn’t go for the CGI approach and opt for the more realistic option of heavy makeup and masks but unfortunately whilst the makeup suits the characters and was probably the biggest challenge of the movie, it just wasn’t believable and was hard to take the otherworldly characters seriously.
Overall, the film is mildly entertaining, but I believe it was too ambitious to believe this would work, even with having an A-List cast. It’s like a B-movie trying to go big budget. Like those sci-fi action flicks of the 80s/90s. But using aliens was strangely a stronger candidate than using fantasy creatures. The only good thing about this film is it’s soundtrack.
Running Time: 6
The Cast: 6
Job Description: 3
The Extra Bonus Point: 0