Netflix has given us a Christmas present, and it just might be better than a tax break. Set in an alternative L.A., populated with orcs, elves, fairies, and human beings, Bright is a fresh take on the buddy-cop movie: Ward (Will Smith) is paired with Jakoby, an orc (played brilliantly by Joel Edgerton). Despite the nods to diversity training and racial profiling, all is not well. Scars from a 2,000 year old war have left a very uneasy truce between men and orcs, and all of Ward’s fellow patrolmen want Jakoby dead. Into that heady mix falls Tikka, a young elf bearing a magic wand she is desperately trying to keep from those who would bring back the Dark Lord. Unfortunately, everyone and his brother wants the wand, which one character describes as “like a nuclear weapon with a wish list.” Foremost among those are the elves in the group known as the Inferni, led by a deliciously evil and unstoppable Noomi Rapace. No, Dorothy, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore!
With all the production values of a big-budget Hollywood extravaganza, the film moves like gangbusters. The action is fast, funny, violent and at times, even John Wickian. (Can I say that?) So if you like your entertainment loud and lurid, put another piece of holiday roast on your plate, freshen your drink, sit back and enjoy. I give Bright an enthusiastic five stars.