Friday, August 23, 2019

Quick Reviews: Brightburn (2019)

The rise of Slipknot Superman!  This is Brightburn, the Film that dared to ask 'What if Superman was evil?'

Who else thought of that, besides countless Comics over the last 50 years?!?  How's the Film though?
A childless couple- which is shown in a super-subtle way by the Film- adopts a strange boy from the Stars.

I hope he learns the lesson of not saving you in a Tornado for some reason!
12 years later (since nothing of note happened, I guess), the child (Brandon Bayer, since, of course) is going through some changes.
For starters, his ship is calling out to him in a creepy voice and leading him to it.
The next day, he discovers his super-strength and invulnerability.

You know what would have been neat?  If the Film didn't just cut here and we saw how he explained the Mower being 25 feet away and with a broken blade.  Right?
As he experiences angst and learns the truth, Brandon may become too far gone...and dangerous.
Will he go too far or is there any saving him?  Hell, is there any saving US from HIM?

To find out, watch the Film.
A strong start, uneven middle and predictable ending.  The Movie's core premise- what if Superman was actually sent here to conquer has merit.  Granted, you'd just be making him General Zod, but whatever.  The idea that this 12 year old can't be a killer is a decent-enough hook.  That said, he's clearly a Sociopath and he doesn't exactly hide it well.  Should they really have been surprised to see the gross images under his bed?  Hell, when it seems like he's graduated to killing Animals (another common escalation for Serial Killers), only one of them seems to believe it.  The thing that makes this harder to buy is the seemingly-condensed timeline of the Film.  The kid goes 12 years of being 'normal' and he becomes pretty damn murderous and evil within a week!  If he went crazy over, for instance, two months, that might be easier to buy.  That's part of the Film's problem- brevity.  The Film hits 90 minutes plus with the end Credits.  The actual Film is about 85 minutes and way too much is crammed into it.  To misuse a Rick & Morty quote, 'There's no time for Arcs.'  Here's another thing- the kid is way too cinematic to be believed.  He's a rage-filled kid, but then he's messing with the lights, drawing his symbol all over the windows, breaking lights and takes 5 minutes to stalk the woman.  Um...what?  They also leave so many things either under-explained (like how he knows his powers so well) or unexplained (what is the limit to his powers?).  At the heart of the tale, you have a severely-unbalanced Slasher Film.  Basically, what if Jason could actually fly around at super-speed (as opposed to lazy Writing)?  The Film feels like a fresh twist, but eventually devolves into familiar territory.  So much more could and should be done with a premise like this.  One last note- no matter how much you build him up, a 12 year old is still, well, a 12 year old and can only look so menacing...
A dark, grim tale that shocks first.  Once you realize that it only has one trick to play, it gets a bit too obvious.

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