Netflix’s $117M Orc Cop Movie ‘Bright’ Is Getting Bodied By Critics

If you were looking forward to Netflix‘s $117m high-concept Will Smith action film Bright – in which Joel Edgerton plays a cop who is also an orc – you may or may not want to find something else to stream before Christmas. The reviews are in… and it is not good.

It’s currently sitting at a very not solid 27% on Rotten Tomatoes, and some of the reviews are absolutely brutal. This will be interesting for Netflix: this is their first gambit at releasing a big high-budget Hollywood movie through the service, and they’ve already greenlit a sequel. Netflix thrives in the TV space because they’ve got a lock on the streaming space, and the stuff they put out is generally pretty solid. An absolutely shitful movie as their first gambit in high-budget film production could throw a spanner in the works.

But anyway! The reviews! They are certifiably brutal. Critics are pointing at the heavy-handed political message (yeah, we get it, the orcs are meant to represent racial minorities) and the terrible script as elements weighing this one down.

From an absolutely savage review in IndieWire:

Potentially a dark harbinger of things to come, “Bright” isn’t only the worst film of 2017, it could be responsible for many of the worst films of 2018 and beyond. If this gambit pays off — if Netflix fortifies their assault on the theatrical experience by internally developing blockbuster-sized movies that are even semi-consciously optimised for disinterested audiences — then it’s hard to imagine how dark the future of feature-length filmmaking might be.

From the Los Angeles Times:

As a piece of entertainment, though? “Bright” is only interesting for how confused it appears to be in regard to its potential audience. Screenwriter Max Landis and director David Ayer have taken a premise that could’ve worked reasonably well as a family-friendly television series — mismatched buddy cops busting criminals in a fantastical version of Los Angeles — and have turned it into a violent, vulgar two-hour movie, weighed down by heavy mythology.

And an equally brutal one in the Associated Press:

Things go seriously off the rails as the film lurches to its conclusion. Smith seems to know how bad the film is so he agrees to have his face hit repeatedly, leaving it puffy and bloody. Perhaps he hopes no one can recognise him anymore. But there’s no escaping the truth. This film makes his misfire “Wild Wild West” looks like “The Godfather.” Plus, he knows he just buried the buddy cop film genre. You’ll never see two cops swapping snide comments in the front seat of a cruiser again — and not laugh.

Finally, a smackdown in Vanity Fair:

While I had the misfortune to see Bright in a theater, most people will simply press “play” out of curiosity on their Roku remote. I am willing to concede that this might elevate the experience a little; the ability to take a quick trip to the kitchen or restroom after shouting “no, don’t pause it” to your partner on the couch will be liberating. Of course, you could also do a quick search and see if the vastly superior Vin Diesel vehicle The Last Witch Hunter is streaming—and watch that instead.

 So, it sucks. Okay. Am I going to watch it this weekend? Yes. Yes I will.