Add one more voice to the chorus of those questioning the merits of Netflix’s Bright. Chance the Rapper debated the film with fans over Twitter on Tuesday, though he took issue specifically with how the story tackled race.
Bright, directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad) from a screenplay by Max Landis (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency), envisions an alternate reality where humans, orcs, elves, and fairies at least try to live harmoniously. Orcs, however, are the new minority. Joel Edgerton plays Jakoby, a new LAPD officer assigned as the partner to Will Smith’s Ward.
The character is referred to in the film by other cops as “the diversity hire,” while another character taunts Jakoby with “listen to your master” when Ward orders him to get in the car.
“Wondering how you guys are feeling about the lynched [orc] in #Brightmovie,” Chance tweeted. “I found the way they tried to illustrate [America’s] racism through the mythical creatures to be a little shallow.”
He continued, “I always feel a lil cheated when I see allegorical racism in movies [’cause] that racism usually stems from human emotion or tolerance but not by law or systems the way it is in real life.” Adding an emoji with a raised eyebrow, Chance added, “The characters in #Bright live in a timeline where racism is gone… cause we hate [orc] now.”
The rapper continued to interact with users on Twitter, including one who suggested the filmmaker and screenwriter “weren’t trying to make a metaphor.”
“I tried to look at it that way but a few minutes into the movie they make [Will’s] character say ‘Fairy Lives don’t Matter,'” he wrote.
Chance’s gripes with Bright echo what many critics said about the film. EW’s Devan Coggan called it “lazy nonsense that’s too silly to be good and too self-serious to be any fun.”
In reference to what Chance pointed out, she wrote, “Perhaps there’s actual commentary on racial injustice buried under all the one-liners and shootouts, but it’s hard to take Bright seriously when it opens with Smith stomping on a fairy who got into his bird feeder, yelling, ‘Fairy lives don’t matter today!'”
Other critics called Bright “astoundingly bad in virtually every way,” “the single worst movie of 2017,” “clearly out of its depth” when it comes to “social commentary,” and a downright “chore.”