Netflix has been pushing their boundaries on original content, so it’s only natural the streaming service would get to a big budget blockbuster type with a recognizable, major actor in the lead.
That leads us to Bright directed by Suicide Squad‘s David Ayer and starring Will Smith.
LAPD officer Daryl Ward (Smith) is returning to work after a gunshot wound, having been shot by an orc his orc partner Nick Jacoby (Joel Edgerton) failed to stop. Yes, orcs exist in this world, as do elves, fairies, and a host of other magical things. It would seem the world had magic and elves and things throughout the ages, and Nick is the first orc cop in the country. Other cops don’t quite trust Nick, including Daryl, but Daryl still somewhat sees Nick as a partner and would rather remove the guy from his car but not the police force. The two are on a routine patrol when they fall into a dispute involving elves and a genuine magic wand, an artifact that can only be handled by a “bright,” most of which are elves but including a handful of humans throughout the world. Can Daryl and Nick work together long enough to stay alive when all manner of things are gunning for them, including the elf woman who owns the wand.
There’s promise here with this movie in the setting. One shot shows what looks like a dragon flying over the LA skyline, and the history of the world, largely hinted at, would be interesting to explore. And while Smith and Edgerton are both OK in their respective roles, the movie seems to be taking a fairly silly subject matter very seriously. This movie, especially given Smith’s strengths, would have worked better as more of a comedy than an action film. Even then, the movie doesn’t know when to end. The climax goes on for far too long, with multiple potential climaxes, none of which were all that satisfying. The whole thing comes across as ambitious, but dumb. Six and a half orc raves out of ten.