“Bright” (2017) is directed by David Ayer. The film follows police officers, Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), in a Los Angeles set in an alternate timeline where humans live alongside fantastical creatures such as elves, orcs, and more in a modern, urban setting.
This is clearly not a serious film, nor is it meant to be taken seriously. “Bright’s” primary strength is that it is fun. It can keep you entertained. The banter between Smith and Edgerton’s characters is enjoyable.
Acting-wise, there really isn’t much to show. Not that it is necessarily bad, just that it is… average. Will Smith plays Will Smith, and most of the supporting cast fail to shine, but none are bad enough to spoil the excitement of the film.
Joel Edgerton gives the best performance as Officer Jakoby, LAPD’s first orc cop. His rambling and nervousness throughout are frugally expressed by the underappreciated Edgerton.
Technically, this is a well-made action film. There is virtually no CGI, a godsend for modern action films, the camerawork is solid, and the production design and makeup departments could even be major award contenders this year.
“Bright’s” biggest flaw, however, is the story. Max Landis’s world had great potential, with allusions of racism and change abundant throughout. However, the main plot throughout is weak, okay at best, and relies far too much on action rather than developing the characters.
David Ayer was, however, able to take a relatively meager story and maintain a well-shot action fantasy from the messy screenplay at hand.
“Bright’s” poor story and thin characters keep it from being an action mogul, but its fantastic action sequences and comedic banter is suitable enough to keep audiences entertained.