Bright
2017
***
Director: David Ayer
Cast: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry, Édgar Ramírez, Ike Barinholtz, Happy Anderson, Dawn Olivieri, Matt Gerald, Margaret Cho

David Ayer has written (and sometimes directed) several crime dramas about LAPD cops (for example, Training Day, Dark Blue, and End of Watch), but not one like this. Racial tensions run high in modern day Los Angeles where humans, orcs, and elves live side by side. Veteran police officer Daryl Ward is forced to patrol the streets with his orc partner Nick Jakoby. One night they stumble on a crime scene and find an injured elf in possession of a magic wand. The set-up is intriguing and original, but I wish Ayer, who rewrote Max Landis’ script, would spend more time on exploring the universe and developing the characters, and less time on foul-mouthed macho posturing and empty-headed action scenes. As it stands, this is a bog standard cop movie with a twist.