Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Brightburn (2019)

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Summary: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?
This will be a short review.
Pros:
Nice Tension. The movie does a good job at setting up tension in the film. When Brandon starts to go full villain, he does the typical, scary movie bad guy approach, hiding in the curtains or the dark, moving really fast by windows and while that’s nothing new, it still works because this time, this bad guy is super powered and you have no idea, what he’ll do, how he’ll do it and just how bad it’ll turn out. One of the better scenes, is in the diner where he goes after an adult after he finds out something they said. He already didn’t like this person after an incident but now he’s really about to get them back. It’s a creepy scene and I thought it was handled wonderfully because I was into it. The same can be kind of sad for the scene on the road with the car, it’s a little silly, but effective.
Brandon’s Story. I think it’s interesting what we do get to see and learn, and I wish the movie sat on those moments more. When we first see him really start to pick into his powers, it’s after he goes to the barn after being called by his ship and it’s interesting what they’re doing. He’s being pulled and it happens a few times. Then of course with him being a kid, his world view is black and white. You do something to hurt me or my feelings, I’ll hurt you back kind of thing and that’s interesting and some of the stuff he does, it’s like well dang lol.
Jackson A. Dunn as Brandon Breyer / Brightburn. He was overall pretty good. When we first meet him, he’s a super smart kid, kind of quiet and maybe a little weird in his classmate’s eyes. We know he might be something else because of the beginning, but so far, he seems like a regular 12-year-old. As the movie goes on, something happens where he connects to his ship and now, he’s on this rampage. I think he does a nice job when it comes to being weird and creepy and even a little intimidating. His eyes are penetrating, so I thought he was probably the best thing about the movie.
Cons:
The Acting. Elizabeth Banks is the biggest issue here. Listen, I’m familiar with her and I think she’s a good comedic actress because maybe drama, or at least drama like this, isn’t really her thing. She overacted quite a bit and I imitated her throughout the film. Whenever she was crying or trying to rationalize something her kid did, the hammy acting got worse and worse as the movie went on. Being that she was essentially the lead, we saw her a lot and it was never really good. Then Merilee and Noah, the aunt and uncle were okay at best. The dad Kyle was probably the best adult actor but about halfway through the movie, he’s regulated to be the stereotypical “My son is a monster!” So yeah lol. The acting isn’t that great.
Brandon’s Story. This is here as well because while it’s clearly an origin story, we don’t really learn anything about Brandon. Obviously, we learn he’s an alien and that he ends up having these intense powers and then he of course has his whole mission once things get started, but we learn nothing else. I’m sure they probably want to do more movies due to the ending, but I don’t see that happening lol. I mean, we get little nuggets and I wish this movie was more about him figuring himself out while being a villain instead of what happened because it’s a lot of “HUH?” and not like “Ohh that’s interesting, tell me more”. For example, when Brandon first goes to the barn where his ship is being held but he doesn’t know what’s down there, we get this kind of weird moment, but we never quite learn what that means. It happens a few times and it’s just never answered.
Rushed/Pacing Issues. There’s probably a lot of this movie cut out and I think it could have benefited from being a tad longer. This would probably alleviate some of the issues I had with Brandon’s story because we might have been able to “explore” more, especially since this movie asks a very basic question: “What if Superman was evil?” It doesn’t allow us to sit in the moments, it doesn’t linger on moments for the characters to learn more or for the audience to learn more. It’s like, ‘let’s hurry and get back to Brandon killing people!’
Overall, this movie is such wasted potential because I found the premise very interesting. It’s a subversion of the comic book movies we’ve seen for the last 20+ years and there hasn’t been one that asks this question, at least not like this (Suicide Squad doesn’t count lol). There are some good things, like Jackson A. Dunn as Brandon Breyer is good for the main character, I find his story pretty interesting for the most part and I wish we got to see more, and I thought the movie did well with handling tension. With that said, the acting from everyone else isn’t that great, it’s either overacting or underacting. It’s annoying. It has pacing issues, things happen quickly and move quickly where it doesn’t allow the audience to sit in the moment. They only let us sit in the moment, kind of, when Brandon is either about to hurt someone or just hurt them because people don’t automatically die after he does something that would instantly kill them! It’s so weird, lol. But anyway, if you’re looking for something new, a different take on the comic genre, sure give it a try but I can’t say I would recommend it because I genuinely think it’s a good movie.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Brightburn? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
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