As 2017 comes to an end, one thing I have realized is that my writing has taken a serious hit. I believe my creative muse checked out for a vacation when Donald Trump became President. The year has just been dark, gloomy, and not in an enjoyable Tim Burton kind of way. Perhaps that is why I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed Bright.
Ok so Will Smith, guess what, shocker he doesn’t swear when he raps and whether you enjoy him in movies or not, there really isn’t all that much variation in the characters he plays. Watching Will Smith you know exactly what you are going to get which is what made him a perfect cast for this movie. Bright really went to a spot that even I initially thought was a stretch. I love orcs, elves, and mythological beings; but to drop them into LA in a modern time setting, I had my doubts going in that it would work. Well it does, it works very well.
The actors all play their parts which are intelligent and engaging. Past events are referenced visually and in conversation but not in a way that detracts from the breakneck pace of the movie once it gets going. Taking what I like to call, “One night to tell a story approach” is perfect, it is a snapshot, a solid short story on screen. It also does one thing that so many movies fail to do nowadays, it lives within the limits of the story. Special effects are used to enhance the fabric and add to the experience, not overload one’s senses. I will state what will probably be an unpopular opinion, James Cameron if you want to know where you went wrong with Avatar watch Bright and take some notes on story telling.
Show business has many sayings but one I have always enjoyed is leave them wanting more, and Bright does. The world is intriguing, a playground that tackles racism and class warfare on a very human as well as non-human level. There are so many similarities to things we see in person as well as online everyday in our own world that people can relate to someone or to some piece in the movie. Bright feels like a fresh approach that makes us question stereotypes by running those safe fantasy ones of Orcs and Elves in parallel with the less comfortable ones which exist in our own society. If 2017 is remembered as a year of the dark times, Bright is certainly at least one movie that broke through and reminded us what we can and should be. I want more.