Will Smith Fights Orcs And Elves In Modern-Day LA In ‘Bright’

'Bright' is what happens when 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Lord of the Rings' had a baby.

Bright (M18) 

Starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton 

Directed by David Ayer

For nearly two decades, navy submariner-turned-filmmaker David Ayer has built a career from spinning stories about tough but flawed lawmen (see Street Kings, Sabotage, End of Watch).  His latest, set in an alternate present-day, sees him returning to a similar milieu, except this time he mixes James Ellroy grittiness with JRR Tolkien fantasia. 

Will Smith and Joel Edgerton play LAPD’s finest — one’s human, the other an orc — who chance upon a powerful wand that rogue elves, streets gangs, and dirty cops want to get their hands on. Or something like that. It's hard to keep up with a movie that feels like a prequel/sequel to a non-existent blockbuster adapted from issue #10 of a graphic novel series that ran out of stream around issue #4.

The genre mash-up is intriguing at first, but eventually gets lost in the muddled mythology and murky shoot-outs. Then again, amid the confusion, there’s a cool moment or two to savour: Seriously, who can resist the sight of a machine gun-packing, martial arts-proficient elf? Legolas, who? On Netflix. (**1/2)

Photo: Netflix/Matt Kennedy


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