Will Smith’s new ‘orcs in the police department’ movie for Netflix is proving a bit too much of a leap for most critics.
Bright, which is released on the streaming service tomorrow, finds Smith playing a cop who is reluctantly teamed up with the first ever orc to join the LAPD (played by Joel Edgerton), in an alt-universe action fantasy penned by Max Landis and directed by Suicide Squad’s David Ayer.
But sadly, the fantastically premised project – with its non-too-subtle allegory on race – has been called ‘the worst movie of 2017’.
Critics have rounded on the film, said to be Netflix’s most-expensive project to date, with a reported budget of $90 million.
“That old Hollywood standby, the venerable buddy cop movie, may have met its anguished demise this holiday season. Will Smith just killed it,” writes Mark Kennedy for the Associated Press.
Jordan Hoffman in Vanity Fair calls it ‘an absolute wreck’.
IndieWire‘s David Erlich says ‘there’s boring, there’s bad, and then there’s Bright, a movie so profoundly awful that Republicans will probably try to pass it into law over Christmas break’, adding that it’s ‘a dull and painfully derivative ordeal’.
Todd Gilchrist on The Wrap reckons it’s ‘astoudingly bad’.
“Bright takes a bunch of gobbledygook from The Lord of the Rings, liquefies it in a blender and pours it liberally over the same ‘corrupt cop comes to a moral crossroads’ blueprint that Ayer has been copying since Training Day’,” he writes.
Noel Murray in The Los Angeles Times adds ‘it’s hard to imagine Bright inspiring anyone to want to see or make a full-blown series of films. Aside from a few nifty ideas and the occasional amusing or exciting scene, this film is a chore’.
That said, Netflix has since confirmed that it has doubled down and ordered a sequel.
Not every one thoroughly hated it, however.
Peter Debruge in Variety says that is fills ‘an intense, grown-up movie niche that Hollywood once did so well, but has since replaced with formula-driven product’.
Steve Rose in The Guardian agrees, saying ‘for all its flaws, Bright is still a headlong leap into a bracingly different new world. Cinema could do with more of that’.
Also starring It’s out on Netflix on December 22.