Netflix's Bright off to a dull start

Bright cast members Noomi Rapace and Will Smith (both above) attend the Japan premiere for the film in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Bright cast members Noomi Rapace and Will Smith (both above) attend the Japan premiere for the film in Tokyo on Tuesday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

NEW YORK • It is not a Bright start for Netflix's forays into big-budget movies.

Every big movie studio has a critical flop now and then.

Now, Netflix, which is trying to join Hollywood's big leagues with the new US$90-million (S$121-million) fantasy-action film, Bright, has earned that dubious badge of honour.

The Will Smith vehicle, which mixes The Lord Of The Rings-style mythical creatures into a tale about Los Angeles police officers, has registered only 17 per cent positive reviews from top critics, according to RottenTomatoes.com.

"That old Hollywood standby, the venerable buddy cop movie, may have met its anguished demise this holiday season," wrote Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press. "Will Smith just killed it."

The movie was set to be available on the streaming-video service yesterday.

It is part of Netflix's attempt to build its own library of programming of all sorts - big-budget pictures, small documentaries, sitcoms, dramas and reality shows - so that it will not have to rely on shows and films from rivals such as Walt Disney.

The company will release more than 80 films next year, building on the 50 or so rolled out this year.

A handful, such as Bright, are big and expensive enough to be considered major Hollywood productions.

Like a Hollywood studio, Netflix is not going to let some bad reviews get in the way if it thinks the film is getting results.

The company is already planning a Bright sequel, Bloomberg reported this week.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'Netflix's Bright off to a dull start'. Print Edition | Subscribe