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