“Bright” plays with some interesting ideas, and benefits greatly from Joel Edgerton’s legitimately good performance (caked in make-up as it is) and Will Smith’s grounding presence, but never really fully comes together.
It’s ambitious worldbuilding suggests at big, political ideas, but the racial politics in particular are handled clumsily, and while the film clearly aims for a slice-of-life vibe just hinting at larger mythology, it sabotages itself by devolving into save-the-world theatrics dashing its more small-scale buddy-cop vibe, and by gesturing at the larger racial politics of its world enough to make one ponder just how the human races exactly fit in with their mythical expys.
I’m not sure if going more the urban fantasy route, or more the buddy cop route, would have been better for the movie, but both sides feel undercooked. The movie coasts along well enough, and its large budget shows, but it never meets its potential. Two fairies, and a wand.