Bright is an original made-for-Netflix film about Will Smith being Will Smith, opposite an orc, fighting fantasy evil. The film’s about as good as any cynical, world-weary person would expect. Which is to say, it’s not all that great. The argument I’ve mostly been hearing about the film is whether it’s good enough to finish.
I have some other concerns.
Does anyone else miss the titular songs in movies that describe the movie? Like Vanilla Ice’s “Ninja Rap” about the Ninja Turtles? Mc Hammer’s “Addams Family Groove“? Run DMC’s “Ghostbusters II Rap“? Will Smith’s very own “Men In Black” and “Wild Wild West“?
Listen, I know that Will Smith is probably still reeling from Wild Wild West, but he needs to recover. Writing another rap anthem for his blockbusters is immersion therapy.
Is Will Smith ever not a cop? He is an officer of the law/government in his biggest movies and series: Bad Boys, Men In Black, Independence Day, I Robot, I am Legend, Bright, and — of course — Wild Wild West. Plus possibly some of his other movies I haven’t seen.
So, like… is racism… bad? In this film, humans constantly shit all over orcs (metaphorically). It’s weird to watch a person of color act racist. Shouldn’t he be more compassionate? Maybe the orcs were the slaves instead?
Contemporary race/class structures among humans do still seem to exist.
For example, there is a Latinx gang we meet. They are a slapdash collection of uncomfortable-to-watch Chicano tropes. It’s fairly clear that, at the very least, these particular people are in a position to choose this unsavory life. So humans still have some sort of disparity within them.
But the orcs are still the worst.
While I was watching the movie, I was like “how the fuck is racism still a thing in this universe?” Then remembered that, in the real world, humans are shitty to other humans. So there’s that.
People are racist, maaaaaaan.
Was this written by a committee of 13-year-olds? The two legs that the plot stands on are: 1) Racism Is Bad; and 2) Violence Is Fun. The plot is so simple that it feels like a few young teens on Adderall came up with it.
“I want a bunch of shit to blow the fuck up,” Mike said.
“I think there should be magic,” Joe said. “Like, sexy, backflipping elves.”
“But, like, an underlying message, maybe about racism being bad?” Ella said.
“Can Will Smith do a rap?” Joe said.
“I don’t think he does that any more,” Mike said. “Don’t worry. We’ll include a gratuitous strip club scene. Tits.”
“And one of the cops is a centaur,” Ella said.
What now? Despite being torn asunder by critics, Netflix has ordered a sequel.
We can only hope the cop centaur gets a bigger role.