Netflixing: Bright

in #tv3 years ago

This marks the second time this year that I've had to stop watching a Netflix original movie halfway through the runtime because of a topless nightclub scene.

This feels like more than a coincidence.

In any case, this is Netflix's Bright.

Not the Paradigm Shift We've been Waiting For

It is particularly important that we talk about this movie.

Not really because of anything within the film itself, but because it exists to begin with. Netflix has already proven that it can and will be the new format for watching television shows. It has done this through such flagship series as The Crown and Stranger Things.

And it seemed inevitable that they should do the same thing with motion pictures. Lagging theater attendance and the cloud of malaise hanging over Hollywood are driving more and more people to seek other forms of entertainment. And Netflix could fill that niche without moving any mountains, as far as the way movies are produced.

Bright, being a vehicle for an A-list actor, was the natural turning point. This movie was supposed to be the catalyst, the chosen one.

It wouldn't be the first "chosen one" to let us down.

Like Little Evil before it, Bright starts with a million-dollar premise and squanders it. The result, again, is a movie that premieres on Netflix only because it is not good enough for a theatrical release. Movies of that caliber will never be enough to force the industry to evolve.

And the sad part is how it could have been avoided---how close this movie was to being that tipping point that changes everything. With a little more care given to the production values, and the writing, we could have had a blockbuster on our hands.

Apart from that, there was another showstopping problem.

The Problem with Lewdness

As I said before, I had to stop watching this movie as soon as they threw in explicit imagery.

Bright is rated TV-MA, but the TV rating system is a lot less useful than MPAA movie ratings. As an example, consider that Archer is also rated TV-MA, yet the content level of Archer is absolutely not even in the same hemisphere as Bright.

And Bright may be a true-crime drama (in which some racy content may be expected), but it is also a high fantasy story (which, despite the popularity of Game of Thrones, is still overwhelmingly a genre for general audiences), so it can't hide behind the excuse that people should have expected lewdness where none was advertised.

And none was advertised. Not a mote of the promotional materials gave any hint that there would be nudity or R-grade language.

As such, the racier bits of the movie couldn't help but feel like a lot of pandering.

Pandering to any 12-year-old boys whose parents don't know what they're watching on Netflix. And, as it was with the Death Note remake, so it is here: a flash of pornographic content to distract from structural flaws.

But What about the Message?

In an attempt to buy an indulgence, Bright sugarcoats its poison pill with a hamfisted moral about race relations, set against the backdrop of policework.

And this message would be rather revolutionary, if it hadn't already been done so much better by a still-recent Disney animated movie.

Although, to be fair, Zootopia also had a nude scene, but it served only as a kind of joke (and was tastefully done).

So Let's Talk about the Story

Because this is supposed to be a review, after all.

Imagine that at the end of The Lord of the Rings, the elves decided not to leave Middle Earth, and instead remained in the world of men all the way up to the present day.

That is pretty much the central conceit of Bright. An evil overlord was overthrown 2000 years ago. Orcs fought for him, and all the other races fought against him. As such, orcs are a marginalized demographic in the modern era, whereas elves live posh lives of privilege.

And since the power of magic can do anything, in this world it is the center of the power hierarchy. A few elves, and even fewer humans, are born as "Brights"---people who can control magic. If a bright possesses a magic wand, then there is almost nothing they can't do. Whereas if a non-Bright even touches a magic wand, they die. And that's the only way to find out whether or not you are one.

But if three brights with three wands come together, then they can even resurrect the ancient dark lord. As such, magic is highly regulated, and the FBI has a special task force for investigating magical crimes.

Into this mix is thrown Will Smith, playing a cop who is only five years from retirement, and who has been saddled with the first-ever orc to join a police force. The orc is hated by his fellow cops, but is also seen as a race traitor by other orcs. And when the two of them find a elven bright who has stolen a wand, the entire city of Los Angeles is going to want their heads.

A Tragedy of Circumstance?

This movie had a lot of potential. And many of its biggest drawbacks are not the fault of the film itself.

However, it has pointed out certain truths about Netflix's potential takeover of the movie business, and has highlighted the obstacles that remain in such an endeavor.

It is in light of this that I issue the following spooky prophecy:

Unless streaming services get their original movies rated by the MPAA, or come up with their own system which is more specific and well defined than the current TV rating system, they will NEVER replace theaters or disrupt the Hollywood business model.

Here endeth the spooky prophecy.

My Judgment

Bright is just depressing.

My judgment in this matter is skewed, I admit, since I did not watch the entire film, and I am prejudiced against movies that include lewdness, particularly when it adds absolutely nothing to the story. But even if I look past that, it still feels like a major letdown, knowing that we still have to wait for a Netflix original movie that truly breaks the system.

I can't recommend the film to anyone. It doesn't especially work as a high fantasy or as a police drama. And honestly, I hope audiences send Netflix a message by not putting up with such B-material.

They can do better, and we should demand better.

Previous entries in the Netflixing series:

Past Years

TV Shows

  • Little Evil
  • The Punisher
  • Bitcoin Heist
  • Stranger Things
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • The Saint (2017)
  • Neo Yokio
  • Portlandia, Season 7
  • InuYasha
  • The Good Place
  • The Defenders
  • Documentary Now
  • Samurai Gourmet
  • Castlevania
  • The Seven Deadly Sins
  • Sherlock, Series 4
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 3
  • The Twilight Zone (1963)
  • The IT Crowd
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return
  • Archer, Season 7
  • One-Punch Man
  • Iron Fist
  • Phineas and Ferb
  • Keeping Up Appearances
  • Michael Bolton's Big, Sexy Valentine's Day Special
  • Hunter x Hunter (2011)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Luke Cage
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Movies

  • Gremlins
  • Paddington
  • The Waterboy
  • April and the Extraordinary World
  • The Babadook
  • Death Note (2017)
  • Banking on Bitcoin
  • Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
  • The Third Man
  • Young Frankenstein
  • The Last Unicorn
  • Toys
  • Escape from New York
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Silver Streak
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Blazing Saddles
  • Metropolis (1927)
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • Ratchet and Clank
  • The Angry Birds Movie
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    Haha, Nice movie review @talanhorne! Well, thanks for saving our precious time by letting us know that movie isn't worth to watch. Thank you! 😊💙💜💙

    Have a wonderful day!!

    Hello @talanhorne,

    Extraordinary good review about BRIGHT & excellent writing too.


    hahha not watching this for sure lol :D

    epic review so true :D

    Such a wonderful and complete details about Netflix's Bright movie by @talanhorne
    Actualy I'm really like and love ur this movie posts...nice exrplaination...
    I'm realy hope watch this movie in my free time...
    Thank U so much my dear friend sharing this post...

    depressing as hell

    I would definitely watch this movie has generated interest after reading this article.

    Thank you @talanhorne and Have a great day.

    I would love to watch "Bright's story" movie. Thank you @talanhorne for making us aware of this movie and sharing your valuable reviews with us.

    Thank you for your review on the movie and I think its more of a hype and after your review I wont waste my time watching this movie.

    Thanks @talanhorne

    I will see this movie this weekend :) seams to be interesting for a good relaxing weekend time!!!

    Great TV series . wonderful experience @talanhorne
    Upvote / Resteem

    Sometimes some movie do not stay up to our expectation and but when you reviewed it then I will go with your review.

    Steem on and stay blissful...

    this is a very great movie story fellow,

    excellent on point review i like that

    That's excellent story tale indeed @talanhorne. I want to watch it later.

    wonderful review thanks for the details

    It got a good script & best actors. So this is awesome. Nice review of it~

    the best review ever read thanks for sharing

    Excellent tv series, Great post. @talanhorne
    Upvote Resteem

    coolest post wow thanks for sharing this :)

    Well explained Bright's story. Interesting to read. Thanks for sharing @talanhorne.

    wonderful post nicely described each perspective of it :)

    Director wow, nice movie review & excellent writing about it.

    ~Followed & Upvoted

    i was waiting for a review on this finally its here thanks for writing

    The Bright is a greatest story of Netflix series. I really like to these movie.

    This is valuable post. very frightening movie and good i think.

    Thanks @talanhorne
    Have a nice day

    impressive post & excellent review of the movie. nice article & update @talanhorne

    reteemed & upvoted & commented & followed

    First of all, thank you for your efforts. it is interesting tv series and great work.And you are very good at writing articles.
    100% like and resteem

    Congratulations @talanhorne
    Now you are in the MinnowsPower Loyalty Member List...!!!

    Exceptional movie review and good movie to watch...!!!

    25% Upvoted by @MinnowsPower

    This is nice review. great work , thanks for sharing
    Upvote Resteem

    This is very interesting article and this is a great netflix.thanks for sharing.

    ((((((( Resteem Service )))))))

    I had no good movie to watch in last couple of days! Thanks to you i think i have found something interest! Great review about it bro!


    @talanhorne - Sir thank to you I can find a movie to watch in this new year eve... Wish you a Happy New year too Sir...


    Thank you very much for your detailed review @talanhorne! 👍 I haven't yet subscribed to Netflix. 😊

    Have a great day sir!!

    keep in mind that it was the first big project movie for netflix and for that its pretty solid made --its not a masterpiece but it worked for me as a chill out movie(besides the netflix series)

    the movie with its idea and concept had potential

    Its a great tv series, i love action thanks for sharing with us this link.

    I love this TV series, I like the action, and I am happy to have a lot of 100 such satirical television series share this kind of awesome link.

    i am watching many movies from your recommendations and must say they are very cool

    wonderful details about Netflix's Bright movie.