Will Smith's new fantasy-sci-fi movie, "Bright," might just end up being the worst movie of 2017, at least according to the many critics tearing it to shreds. But the film's director, David Ayer, isn't too concerned.
The Netflix original movie isn't available to stream until Friday, but you may want to sit this one out. (Then again, you already paid for it, so you're only wasting time if you hate it.) So far, it's racked up a measly 32 percent approval rating from critics counted on Rotten Tomatoes. The score actually seems quite generous considering how nasty some of the reviews are.
"Bright" follows the lives of two South Central LAPD cops: a seasoned, somewhat jaded, hardcore human Ward (Smith) and a rookie orc -- played by a heavily made-up Joel Edgerton. The cops live in an alternate world where humans, elves and fairies have been co-existing since the dawn of time. The film finds Smith re-teaming with the director of "Suicide Squad," another project ravaged by critics.
"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," David Ehrlich of IndieWire wrote of the piece. "From the director of 'Suicide Squad' and the writer of 'Victor Frankenstein' comes a fresh slice of hell that somehow represents new lows for them both -- a dull and painfully derivative ordeal that that often feels like it was made just to put those earlier misfires into perspective. The only thing more predictable than this high-concept police story is the idea that a year as punishing as 2017 would save the worst for last."
That review caught Ayer's eye. He responded to the writer on Twitter by writing, "This is going on my fridge. Highest compliment is a strong reaction either way. This is a f*cking epic review. It's a big fun movie. You can sure string words together Mr. Erlich. I'd love to read any script you've written."
"If an alternate present-day reality where ordinary humans, sub-level orcs, affluent elves and fairies have been coexisting since the beginning of time sound like a dreadful, misguided, ridiculous idea, that's because it most certainly is," Rodrigo Perez of The Playlist wrote of Smith's latest project. "At least in this form and execution."
"A mythic, fairytale mess -- that kind that makes no f-cking sense -- it should come with a glossary of terms or a graphic novel to unmuddle itself, but certainly doesn't," Perez continued. "Instead it's mostly explained in nearly impenetrable, indecipherable expository babble about legendary battles fought centuries ago."
"Astoundingly bad in virtually every way, 'Bright' shares in common several of the shortcomings of Ayer's previous film ['Suicide Squad'], including conspicuous evidence of desperate efforts to cobble its under-explained and yet somehow overcomplicated mythology into something coherent," The Wrap's Todd Gilchrist wrote of the film
"Even Will Smith's irrepressible charisma can't compete with the unrelentingly muddy production design, the poorly conceived characters and a profoundly stupid racial metaphor that somehow amplifies stereotypes of actual ethnic groups," Gilchrist continued. "The result is another genre disaster that's only impressive in how arrogantly the filmmakers presume audiences will want it to be expanded into a franchise."
Noel Murray of the Los Angeles Times described the film as a "chore," saying, "It's hard to imagine 'Bright' inspiring anyone to want to see or make a full-blown series of films. And Vinnie Mancuso of Collider said "the actual story, when we finally get to it, is not much more than empty gunshots and blood splatter with a faerie tale twist."
Check out "Bright," if you dare, when it starts streaming this Friday on Netflix. And if you happen to enjoy it, you can look forward to a sequel, which the streaming service already greenlit, despite the overwhelmingly terrible reviews.