David Ayer directs Will Smith, Joel Edgerton and Noomi Rapace in the fantasy buddy cop actioner where an ageing LAPD uniform cop and his unwanted orc partner get caught between warring gangs of homies and elves.
A servicable mid-budget movie. The Tolkien meets Straight Outta Compton elements are visually a little too on the nose but consistent. Ayer is confident enough to include passing shots of dragons and centaurs, smartly suggesting this universe is more expansive than the minimum the story requires. Big Willy Style builds on his good work in Suicide Squad by delivering the kinda accessible, street performance we used to queue around the block to watch him do Fresh in the 90s. He has good chemistry with Edgerton and their dynamic is about as believable as seasoned patrol cop and an orc rookie’s could be. Where Bright suffers isn’t in chemistry or concept, it is in the repetitive set pieces. With one notable exception, all involve the heroes hiding, crouching and weaving while another gang open fire on them or each other. When Ayer starts repeating the locations for these deadening salvos in the third act the movie lost me almost entirely. If we do get a sequel, and I’d say there is scope and appetite for a better adventure, then a bit more imagination should go into the thrills now the basics have been decently established.