Bright, Will Smith’s new Netflix movie out in December, looks interesting if not exactly good. This is fine because I would just like Smith to have, if not the perfect cinematic vehicle for his talents, then at least one he can get around in. Don’t give him a Nigerian accent to squeeze into (Concussion) or make him build elaborate (symbolic? I’m seriously asking) domino structures until he learns how to grieve by taking the good with the bad (Collateral Beauty). Give him a gun to hold, some wise to crack, and some strange, indecipherable stuff to gape at. Suicide Squad ticked those boxes, but it also lazily gathered up 182,731 new antiheroes and gave them an energy spire to fight. Apparently what David Ayers really needed was 85 million fewer budget dollars, actual creative freedom, and Los Angeles as a playground, instead of some vaguely New Yorkish, Chicago-y "Gotham" setting.
So here’s the thing: This is a Los Angeles far removed from the one you know. In this L.A., the dark arts still exist but most everyone’s forgotten how to practice them. Imagine magic like it’s Latin — but if they didn’t teach it in schools and the Vatican didn’t use it. There are fairies and orcs and goblins and Vulcans, and if you go to the zoo you might see a dragon. At some point, presumably after he runs out of bullets, Smith picks up a rusty broadsword.
Still with me? OK: Here Smith reprises his Ornery Beat Cop Prejudiced Against Fictional Race role from I, Robot, but instead of living with a bionic arm he has to learn to get along with Joel Edgerton in what looks like a pretty constrictive orc getup. Aaaaand the two stumble backward into a reality-threatening case involving a magic wand.
I know it sounds hard to follow, but it looks as though Bright might stay along the ground in a somewhat convincing way — as if there could be warlocks and witches zapping each other across convenience-store snack aisles in that part of town you’ve just never been to for whatever reason. Let’s plan on going there, around Christmastime. I’ll be out front in a stolen Corolla.