The first line Will Smith utters in the trailer for his upcoming big budget Netflix action film Bright is a cringeworthy cliché. “Windows up. Drive it like you stole it.” Even after eight films, The Fast and the Furious franchise still manages to find less tired car chase dialogue.
Everything that comes after that though is, well, not quite like anything you’ve seen before.
In the film, Smith plays a LAPD officer, while Joel Edgerton plays his partner who just happens to be an orc. America’s first orcish police officer in fact. Yes, orcs and elves and other magical humanoid creatures exist in the universe of Bright. It’s a cop partner action flick except with fantasy elements. Fittingly, the mission is not to bring down a terrorist or international cocaine kingpin, but rather to destroy a magic wand.
Noomi Rapace then pops up as some sort of femme fatale elf, though she doesn’t have much to say. There’s also some sort of flashback structure to the narrative it seems. So, we’re not really sure where all these elements are heading plot-wise, but it does look visually intriguing.
Bright finds Smith re-teaming with his Suicide Squad director David Ayer. Meanwhile, social media lightning rod screenwriter Max Landis took time out of his schedule of overanalyzing Carly Rae Jepsen lyrics to pen the screenplay.
Netflix meanwhile would very much like to put out bigger budget movies that can catch the attention of the wider culture in the same way that their television shows and other studio’s traditional blockbuster flicks can. Bright represents their biggest lunge towards that goal yet. It reportedly cost $90 million to make and stars box officer king Will Smith after all, though his opening weekend power has dimmed in recent years.
It’s also intriguing in that the film is an original story, and not, as way too many traditionally released films have been lately, a sequel, reboot, remake, or adaptation of a well known property. So the degree of success of the film could signify quite a lot. We’ll find out exactly what when the film is released on December 22.
In the meantime, we’re just going to spend a lot of time thinking about Smith’s last line in the trailer. The one where he yells “I need you to take your fat Shrek-looking ass back home to Fiona, a’ight,” at a gangster orc. Mostly because that means Shrek exists in this universe, which makes no sense at all, because why would fantasy creatures of ogres be in a world where orcs are also around? Unless in this universe, Shrek is an ugly racist caricature film for children. Definitely a lot to think about here.
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