Bright Movie Review

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What happens when you take the idea of elves and orcs and magic and put them into a more modern setting?

Bright is set in a world in which 2000 years ago a dark lord was banished by a multi-species army. At the time of the story, we find the society is deeply rooted in racism with prejudices and stereotypes abundant.

The world’s story is told through beat-cop Daryl Ward, and Nick Jakoby, his orc partner.

The tension between these two is palpable. Slowly, their history comes to light.  And it is not one of peace. Ward is not a fan of orcs and Jakoby is constantly trying to get through without success.


This film spends a lot of time showing how the races feel about each other. Either looking down on the orcs for the choice of joining the Dark Lord or the elves as rich snobs.

The elves we see live in seclusion in Elf Town and the only orcs we see are secluded to ghettos. Even within the police itself, orcs are looked down upon as second-class citizens.

Jakoby takes the brunt of all this racism. Not only from his coworkers but also from members of his own species who consider him a traitor.


In a world that contains fantasy elements like magic, elves, and orcs there will always be a need for special effects. Both digital and visual effects are used in the creation of this world.

The digital effects are done well, though there the one scene that sticks out as poor is the one depicting a car crash from inside the vehicle. The faces looked fake and rubbery and the slow motion that is used makes it stick out.

The design of the non-human species is also hit or miss. Most of the elves’ ears look like poor prosthetics. The orcs, on the other hand, all look like they were designed with care. Each orc has its own skin designs and dental pieces. I also thought that the twitchy ears on the orcs were a nice touch.

Final Thoughts

While Bright does miss on a few of the visual aspects, I was enamored with the world it set up. If they are in a contemporary world after a fantastical battle so long ago how did they get to the present? How did the worlds history change with the addition of orcs, elves, and magic?

The story of Ward and Jakoby starts as a standard cop that hates his partner and turns into so much more. It might have just been me but it reminded me of the Denzel Washington film Training Day. They both follow a cop running a beat to show us how this world works.

Full of gun violence, and a few scenes with explicit nudity, I would not recommend for younger audiences.  I do recommend this film for older audiences that enjoy high fantasy world full of its own mythology and history.

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