There’s something deep and dark inside the human experience that makes you want to see behemoths fail. It’s the same reason people outside New York don’t like the Yankees, or we snicker on the inside when power players are brought down in sex scandals. Netflix in particular has been on a large roll of late. What started out as a company that could deliver Beverly Hills Cop III and Belgian romance movies to your door with SASE envelopes has morphed into perhaps the most important content provider in entertainment. Mostly I just hate them for making me watch a full season of Luke Cage.
Netflix took a hit recently when their most expensive, flagship series, House of Cards, had to be re-assembled and put to rest finally when everybody remembered suddenly that Kevin Spacey liked young men, with or without permission. Their first venture into big budget filmmaking, Bright, cost $90 million, and rested on re-teaming Will Smith and the one role he ever plays with the guy who directed him in Suicide Squad. That movie sucked, despite the reflexive need by people to ensure you it was successful at the worldwide box office. Like the last five Star Wars movies.
Unlike shitty DC Comics or Star Wars movies, a Netflix original film is going to need to get some legitimate critical buzz before taking off. Bright has been selected out by largely smarmy critics as the worst movie of the year. It’s likely not, but it’s big target for derision and it isn’t good, and the elites have turned against the once beloved Will Smith, though not necessarily for being a sexually-fluid Scientologist and indulgent father. Mostly because his shtick simply got tired. After thirty years, you could learn a second character.
It’s almost a challenge to make a movie about orcs and faeries that isn’t successful. Peter Jackson has repeatedly turned forty-five minutes of Middle Earth content into seven hours of wildly successful fare. Bright could’ve been good, but Netflix isn’t strong enough to tell big time Hollywood people to not suck. They dipped their toe in the big pond and got sucked under. This almost makes up for Luke Cage, and the repurposing of seventeen hard to understand BBC crime dramas as Must See Shows. Almost.