Quick Take: Bright is a jumbled story that doesn’t know what it wants to be. With haphazard action sequences, uneven plot progression, and extremely shallow of character development, Bright never fully gels. It’s kinda fun…ish but never makes you believe. Good urban fantasy calls for exciting world-building, thrilling action, vivid storytelling, and a (sur)realistic environment. It’s a genre that effortlessly supports both its characters and often multilayered plot. Bright lacks the most important story element: a story worth unraveling.
Bright is shallow (but thinks it’s profound) entertainment. It’s sometimes action-packed and funny. But this pedantic and stereotype-riddle script wastes this extraordinarily talented cast.
If you’re fond of exposition data dumps and a race through a city barely worth figuring out, then Bright is destined to be your jam.
I didn’t hate Bright; it’s just okay. I won’t lower the bar (that’s not my ministry) because I want urban fantasy stories (in all forms) to live large.
Bright could’ve slayed and been brilliant. So imma hold it against it (all day) that it isn’t.
The open credits drop story context (and apparently essential world-building elements) via graffiti all to the emotive and atmospheric track Broken People. Out the gate, you’re clued into the fact, there’s been a serious shift of power in the world. It all looks great and flows well into the beginning action. But overall, is only semi-successful because there’s hardly any (by hardly I mean not a damn bit) later development.
The “Feel” of Bright
This sequence does successfully establish a color-filled backdrop and gritty vibe Director David Ayer seamlessly maintains the course of the story. He should since it’s almost dead-on the rhythm and flow of his cop drama, End of Watch. You don’t get extra points for killing it in your wheelhouse.
Ayer’s direction creates such a believable environment it just begs for comparable character-based storytelling and development. We never get it. And without it, Bright suffers obvious drop-offs in character investment and comedic moments that fall short of the mark. The dialogue is choppy, predictable, and unacceptably overwrought at the height of the action.
The “Look” of Bright
While the make-up and prosthetics are all on point; costuming phoned in more than a few looks *ahem* jerseys? *ahem* really?
Visually, Bright does an excellent job of mixing a modern, gritty, “downtown” vibe with vibrant colors and slick imagery. This is a, sometimes chaotic and muddy, engaging setting. This movie looks good; had I not seen this neon-filled murky wonderland so skillfully employed in Atomic Blonde, I might said great.
I usually don’t but, hereafter it may feel like there are Bright spoilers…over at donthatethegeek.com