Despite the critics, ‘Bright’ is a great film and reflection on society

The reviews of “Bright” are in, and the critics really dislike it. The film, led by actors Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, has less than desirable reviews by major publications and has an average critic score of 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But normal viewers have different thoughts on the film with users giving “Bright” an average score of 87 percent. I’m with those guys, “Bright” is great.

“Bright” is a Netflix original movie that takes place in a modern world, specifically Los Angeles, where humans live in a place also populated by many mythological creatures, with orcs and elves being the most prominent. Two thousand years before the film takes place, all of the races except the orcs united against the evil Dark Lord to end his reign and bring peace. Since the war, orcs have been discriminated against because they sided with the Dark Lord. Daryl Ward (Smith) and Nick Jacoby (Edgerton), human and orc respectively, are members of the LAPD and partners that have a wild and dangerous night fighting to keep a magic weapon from rogue elves who want to bring back the Dark Lord.

The movie is a wild ride, with too many characters to count, but it’s basically a cross between “End of Watch” and “Lord of the Rings.”

Critiques of the film say that it pushed too many social issues and is too cliché for the police versus bad guy film. These things, however, are what makes the film so good.

Let’s be completely honest, the “partner cop” movie has been done a million times. The partners start of disliking each other because of something that happened early on. In “Bright” it’s because Ward was shot by an orc when he and Jacoby first started together, and Jacoby eventually lets the orc go because of clan loyalty. Jacoby has his own chip on his shoulder—he is ostracized by the orc communities for joining the police department and never being blooded (an act of bravery and growing up) and by the human world for being an orc.

“Bright” is so refreshing because it doesn’t shy away from the issues that society is experiencing. Early on, Ward and Jacoby are forced to confront their differences to survive. We see how they argue and eventually come together because they must survive. Their relationship is also a small-scale representation of the problems society has. We see scenes of police officers beating up defenseless orcs. We are introduced to the politics in the elf and orc communities. The noble, rich and powerful elves try and hide the existent of rogue elves who want to bring about the end of times. Orcs communities are only gang based because that is the only way to protect themselves, and the government is hiding the fact from everyone that magic wands exist and have the power to destroy the world.

Critics have problems because the film is a mash of so many different storylines but that’s what makes it so good. The film is fun and enjoyable because of how crazy the world is. The desire for acceptance and the thought that we have so little control of our own lives reflects in everyone. Also, there are explosions, wild car chases, shoot-outs and people with swords. The soundtrack is pretty fire too.

This review is eclectic because the film, like society, is eclectic and crazy. Netflix has said that “Bright” is the introduction to a whole film universe, and I for one can’t wait to see what comes next.

Rating: 5/5


Amar Batra is a senior staff photographer and weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email amar.batra@uconn.edu. He tweets at @amar_batra19.