Bright May Be The First Interesting Will Smith Movie in Years

Will Smith Joel Edgerton Bright
Photo Credit: Scott Garfield

This Christmas, Netflix is throwing a massive right hook to the studio system.

On December 22, the streaming service will unleash Bright, starring Will Smith…which could be his most interesting movie in nearly a decade.

Some of you might remember we saw a teaser of this film during the Superbowl, but yesterday during the madness of San Diego Comic Con, the full trailer was dropped.

The trailer starts like every other Will Smith movie — he’s kinda cranky, but kinda goofy. Then we walk right into a sci-fi version of Lethal Weapon, with Smith barely restraining himself from saying “I’m too old for this shit” as he drives around with his new Orc partner (Joel Edgerton).

Then everything goes sideways…in the best way possible.

Smith and Edgerton’s characters respond to a late-night call, and find bodies charred, and a young, presumably female character, holding a legendary, and dangerous magic wand.

Now, in this description this sounds extremely silly. But where David Ayer’s trailer takes us is completely unexpected. Instead of a tired Will Smith film, or an even more tired buddy cop film we get an Escape from New York/Purge: Anarchy style of film where the two cops needs to protect the wand and the wand’s protector from humans, orcs, fairies, and other creatures trying to steal the wand…while also trying to get out of town.

The tone of the trailer is intense, and you can actually feel the stakes here. You’re hooked — you want to know this weird world, and what this possibly mythical quest Smith and Edgerton will go on.

And when was the last time we all really cared about a Will Smith film? Collateral Beauty? Concussion? Focus? After Earth? Men in Black 3? Seven Pounds? (I discount Suicide Squad since that was more of a DC movie than a Will Smith film).

You literally have to go 2007 and 2008 when he did the trifecta of Pursuit of Happyness, I Am Legend, and Hancock to when people got amped, and then showed up to a Will Smith film. And that’s a shame because Will Smith is a hell of a performer.

Back to Bright —┬áthis officially drops on December 22 which is a Friday. Along with Smith and Edgerton, the film also stars Noomi Rapace (the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Ike Barinholtz, Margaret Cho, Edgar Ramirez (Point Break), Dawn Oliveri (House of Lies), and Brandon Larracuente (13 Reasons Why).

The film is written by Max Landis (American Ultra, Chronicle), and directed by David Ayers, who directed Smith in Suicide Squad.

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites