Why It’s Not at All Surprising that Will Smith’s Netflix Movie “Bright” is Awful

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Netflix)

Bad news, fans of Will Smith, orcs, and cop dramas: “Bright” is apparently terrible.

Early reviews for the film have been coming in thick and fast, and if there’s a consistent theme among them, it’s a general consensus that Netflix shouldn’t have bothered with this at all.

Here’s a particularly fun snippet from an angry review from The Wrap, which refuses to pull any punches:

“Astoundingly bad in virtually every way … Even Will Smith’s irrepressible charisma can’t compete with the unrelentingly muddy production design, the poorly-conceived characters and a profoundly stupid racial metaphor that somehow amplifies stereotypes of actual ethnic groups. The result is another genre disaster that’s only impressive in how arrogantly the filmmakers presume audiences will want it to be expanded into a franchise … ‘Bright’ takes a bunch of gobbledygook from ‘The Lord of the Rings’, liquefies it in a blender and pours it liberally over the same ‘corrupt cop comes to a moral crossroads’ blueprint that [the director] has been copying since ‘Training Day’.”

Ouch. That’s got to sting.

On the surface, “Bright” looks like a pretty fun idea. There’s something wondrous to be had in meshing supernatural beings with mundane settings and scenarios, as Taika Waititi’s “What We Do in the Shadows” shows off expertly.

That said, it’s important for the person making such a movie to have something unique to say, which is probably where “Bright” runs into problems.

This isn’t the first time that Will Smith has teamed up with this particular director to make a supernatural movie – it’s not exactly easy to forget just how terribly “Suicide Squad” turned out last year.

David Ayer, as a director, has always felt a little rough around the edges. To a certain extent he seems like the kind of guy who just got lucky, happening to be in the right place at the right time to be able to land massive multimillion dollar success stories on the big screen.

Bright Netflix
Source: Netflix

As for his body of work, it’s questionable at best, and this seems to be what reviewers are mostly annoyed by. This movie could have had potential, but its director has managed to make something that’s just as dreary and uninspired as “Suicide Squad”.

That said, this is good news for some people: anyone who enjoyed “Suicide Squad” (presumably there are people out there who did), who might want to see Ayer team up with Will Smith again, will probably have a good time.

The rest of us, though, are probably better steering clear of this thing. Unless, of course, you’re a glutton for punishment.

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