Did you hear? Netflix recently released a brand new original movie starring Will Smith called Bright. There’s, like, a 110% chance you heard about this movie — Suicide Squad’s David Ayer directed it! And it’s about magic! — because Netflix went like, full-court press to make sure literally everyone on the planet watched this movie. I guess it worked, because now they’re making a sequel to the film.
But be honest…did you watch Bright?
The Netflix original dropped shortly before Christmas on December 22nd, and I politely forced my dad into watching it with me on December 23rd. He kept saying, “I have never heard of this movie, what is it about?” And I didn’t want to give away the whole plot — Will Smith! Orcs! Los Angeles! Magic Wands! — so I just told him it was like Bad Boys but there are elves. He was like, “Okay.” About 20 minutes into the movie, he turned to me from the other couch and said, “What the hell am I watching?”
TBH, I’m still trying to figure out the movie myself. But the gist of it is that Will Smith lives in an alternate Los Angeles where there are elves and orcs, but this isn’t Lord of the Rings (unfortunately). Will Smith is a police officer, and his partner (a very heavily makeup’d Joel Edgerton) is the first orc on the LAPD. The two find themselves caught in the crossfire of a…magic wand. Because the magic wand (or, it’s an actual ~thing~ in this world, so let’s call it Wand) was stolen, and now some dirty cops want it, and Will Smith and the orc have to keep it out of the hands of the bad guy or the evil warlord will rise again and take over the world or…something like that. It’s your age old good vs. evil story, and now add in some social commentary, fancy looking elves, an intense soundtrack, and Chance the Rapper’s commentary on it and well…
While Netflix does not release their viewership data, in a press release sent out announcing the sequel, they write that, “Bright is the highest viewed Netflix film ever on the service in its first week of release and one of the biggest originals (including sequels/additional seasons) Netflix has ever launched.” Along with that, “Bright is the #1 movie on Netflix in every country (190+ countries) since its release with more people viewing the film internationally than domestically.”
Reading between the lines here, lots of people watched Bright, but a lot of them were not here in the United States. Honestly, makes sense. Sometimes these big, splashy blockbusters full of epic proportions just do better overseas than they do stateside.
So while I don’t think my dad will agree to watch the sequel to Bright with me, Bright round two happening anyway. Also, Ayer is also taking over writing responsibilities for the film, and that’s nice. The thing is, now my expectations for the sequel are higher, since the world of the film has already been set up and the narrative doesn’t have to spend time establishing that. Bright 2 can hit the ground running! Hopefully this one makes a little bit more sense, and has another cool Wand in it! So here’s to the Bright sequel, whether you watch it or not.