1-09 Make This Movie Great Again – Bright

Fairies, Orcs, and Elves- Oh my! Join us on an alternate earth with your queer hosts critiquing Netflix’s biggest budget film to date, Bright!

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4 Replies to “1-09 Make This Movie Great Again – Bright”

  1. I liked this movie better than I thought I would but I didn’t really have high expectations going in. You see, I passed on it the first time it came up in my Netflix feed because I casually skimmed the movies description and didn’t think it would be any good. I was like, “Will Smith in a Netflix original (I didn’t realize yet what they spent on Bright and assumed it would be kind of mid to low budget)…and some kind of cop movie…and there’s an orc? Huh? I mean on one hand, it’s Will Smith, y’know. Men in Black. Independence Day. How could it miss? On the other hand, it’s…Will Smith. Men in Black (blockbuster), Independence Day (blockbuster), television and recording star, Grammy award winner, AMA award winner, MTV Movie Award Winner, Academy Award Nominee…what the hell’s he doing in a Netflix original cop movie with an orc?!” So since I was expecting either a cut-rate Lethal Weapon knockoff (with an orc) or a cut-rate 48 hours (with an orc) I initially kept scrolling but then wound up watching it with my girlfriend a couple weeks later.

    The movie was a lot better visually than I expected. I thought the orcs and the elves looked pretty badass. It wasn’t the worst story I had ever seen put on film. I don’t think it was really meant to be high art or have the substance of say a Lord of the Rings or anything, which is why I was kind of surprised that it kept trying to tackle big issues like race relations and discrimination.
    I don’t really think the film really treated race relations as its primary focus. I think it treated it like something kind of left idling in the background while the main story of this loose wand was going on, or maybe it’s the other way around. Whatever they were going for, I don’t really think they achieved it. If you’re going to be purely entertainment-based buddy cop movie with orcs and elves and magic, do that and do it well. If you’re going to tackle hot topics, do THAT and do it well. Don’t do it with shallow, stereotypical characters all while trying to run through a whole different story about mythical creatures at the same time with nothing to indicate to the viewers which narrative is “The main story”.
    Some significant loose ends in the story about this world where humans and mythical creatures coexist (barely) really don’t get tied up at all. I think if this had been maybe fleshed out into a tv series and focused more on the relations between humans and mythical creatures in this alternate reality instead of trying to constantly use the relationship between them to say something, although I’m not really sure what, about relationships between humans in the real world I would have enjoyed it more. It seemed to try to do too many things at once.
    Bright was panned by a lot of critics and praised by a lot of online reviewers. I’m in the middle. It’s not like I felt robbed of the time I spent watching it but it’s not going to be on the AFI’s list of 100 most important films, either.
    I hear they’re working on a sequel. Maybe it will make some sense out of some of the gaps in the first one, although I have a gut feeling it won’t.
    P.S. Great podcast, as always.

    1. Great review of Bright, Kenneth! I know i will definitely be watching the sequel when it’s available. I want to see if they take any viewer feedback and do anything with it…but i’d also like to see where it’s going to go and like you said, see if it will “make some sense out of some of the gaps in the first one.”

  2. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such fantastic info being shared freely out there.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! We’re certainly glad you found the review useful and hopefully entertaining! Please feel free to continue to share your thoughts and listen to our other reviews that you might find useful!

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