"Bright," featuring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, hit Netflix on December 22, 2017. Image: Netflix.

Having crossovers is nothing new.  In video games, movies and television, humans and the world of myths and magic make a big hit. So, I ask you this, “Why did this one fail?”

When I first heard about Netflix’s Bright, I got excited. When I saw the trailer, excited still. When it came time to watch the film, well, I am surprised. This whole time I thought the movie was science fiction, but I was wrong. The movie is more crime, adventure and action and less science fiction and fantasy.

The movie is directed by David Ayer, who is known for End of Watch, Harsh Times, Suicide Squad and Street Kings. So, his knowledge of crime action movies should have shown through in Bright, which did to a point.  We have our cops, bad cops, and street gangs, all fighting it out. But, something is off. Maybe, David should have discussed the world of Humans and Orcs over with Duncan Jones, after all, he directed and wrote Warcraft (2016).

The film is written by Max Landis, who is known for Chronicle and Kirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The movie might have looked great in the script, but something wrong happened between the script and the final production.

The film stars Will Smith as Daryl Ward, a human police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department.  Joel Edgerton is Nick Jakoby, the first Orc to become a police officer.

The World of Bright


In this world, mythical creatures live side by side with humans. The three primary races the movie focuses on are Humans, whose skill set is the same as humans in our world. Orcs who are strong and have an excellent sense of smell. And the Elves, who are the upper class of society, yet they are fierce fighters, and they too have a profound sense of smell. The Fairies do make a special appearance. They are a nuisance, though, like raccoons, rats, and spiders, and are disposed of the same way.

What is the Bright about?

The film is about two police officers who must stop the Inferni, a cult of renegade Elves, from using magical wands to raise the Dark Lordß–Yes, the Dark Lord. Someone call Harry Potter, please. Our heroes face the Inferni, dirty cops, street gangs and the Ministry of Magic… I mean The Magical Congress of the United States of America… nope…nope… I mean the Magic Task Force AKA the Magic Feds, yeah there, got it right this time.

What is a Bright?

Brights are rare and unique, for they are the only ones who can handle wands. Most Brights are Elves, but there are cases where a Human is a Bright, “one in a million” -Serling.  Anyone who is not a Bright, touches a wand with their bare hands dies, okay, explodes.

Bright and Alien Nation

The resurrection of “Alien Nation” in the movie, “Bright.”

When I first saw the images of Bright, the show Alien Nation came to mind. Instead of aliens, we have Orcs, Elves, Fairies, Humans and other races. We now these races from games such as World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons and Shadowrun.

Lethal Weapon, it’s not.

Ward and Jakoby vs. Riggs and Murtaugh. Who will win?

The movie tries to be like Lethal Weapon, which fails. The banter we love seeing between Riggs and Murtaugh is not present in Bright. The dialogue between Ward (Riggs) and Jakoby (Murtaugh) feels forced and nothing resembling sarcasm. Ward comes off crude and rude, I wanted to duct tape his mouth throughout the movie.

A sense of The Fifth Element.

Tikka, “Bright” resembles Leeloo, “The Fifth Element” in looks and action.

Tikka, played by Lucy Fry is a Bright in training who betrays the Inferni and takes off with a wand. She runs into Ward and Jakoby who protect her. Tikka is like Leeloo in the form of not understand her surroundings. Being raised by the Inferni, the outside world is new to her, but she knows and understands more than she lets on. For most of the film, Jakoby is the only one who understands Elvish, but once trust is earned, she speaks English.

What we can learn from Bright.

Jakoby played by Joel Edgerton, talking to Wade played by Will Smith in Netflix’s “Bright.” Screenshot Image: Netflix.

Earlier I mention racial tension in the movie, you can’t miss it. But, if an Elf, a Human and an Orc can get along and learn to like and respect each other. Why can’t we, in the real world, do the same? The film really calls out the obvious racism still present in our time.

Despite everything, Bright is not that bad of a movie. It just needs some fine tuning here and there. It is full of action and can hold peoples attention. The film is not as bad as everyone is making it out to be. I think we just thought one thing and got delivered something else. Plus, it is not a bad start at bringing big budget movies to streaming services instead of hitting the theatres.

Plus, there is a rumor there will be another Bright movie. Maybe in the second one, we will see improvements in dialogue and chemistry.

What do you think of Bright?

Tracie lives in the United States and is an enthusiastic and versatile writer with an academic background in journalism and creative writing. She's an aspiring journalist, screenwriter, and novelist.