Bright is solid storytelling
EDIT: Disclaimer — 1) I was unaware of Max Landis’ involvement in the film, and 2) the criticisms I’ve seen of how the film presents PoC are totally legit.
I watched Netflix’ Bright over the last two days, enjoyed it, and am surprised that I haven’t seen more discussion of it in my circles.
What struck me is that the film nails “Show, don’t tell”. The premise is pretty high-concept, yet there is a total absence of Hollywood’s typical, tedious voiceovers explaining why things are the way they are, or telling us what someone is feeling — and I think there’s only one bit of dialogue that veers towards “As you know, Bob…” territory.
Instead, we are simply shown the film’s world and how the inhabitants react to it. And it’s more than enough. To me, at least, it’s refreshing. E.g., the film’s MacGuffin never gets a full explanation; we see characters react to it with awe, horror, or lust — and that’s all we need to know.
The film may not be a masterpiece, but it’s solid. Will Smith and Joel Edgerton have great chemistry, things move at a brisk pace, and the action and FX are good. It gets to the chorus and does not bore us.
It also ties up everything with a neat little bow at the end, yet still leaves room for more stories — whether they focus on this film’s protagonists or others. The setting is a simple and solid conceit that I’d be happy to explore further.
So, if this has been sitting unwatched in your queue, carve out some time to watch it.