In Brief: Brightburn

“Its either homework or kill someone, whats a kid to do..?”

Brightburn is one of those clever ideas that possibly deserved better realisation. Portraying the dark side of the Superman origin mythology, it postulates that some alien kid crashlands on Earth to be raised by a doting family but instead of the kid growing up to be a champion of truth, justice and all good things American, he, er, turns out to be more of a Lex Luthor kind of guy, or that Zod fella. What are you going to do, some kids turn out bad, its not always the fault of bad parenting. Unfortunately this film  is hampered by both a budget a little too low to really do it justice, and moreover an obvious intention to lead into further movies, that old gripe of mine. Yet again a modern film is blighted by a need to end teasing another movie rather than, well, deliver an actual ending. Perhaps I’m being somewhat unfair, I mean, I quite liked it, but it did prove a little annoying overall, especially when it ended and I felt like I’d been ‘had’ yet again. Anyway, I’m keeping things brief, so yeah, I liked it, but I’d have liked it better with a proper ending. One day film-makers will be more honest, ending films with a text card saying things like “this story actually ends in Brightburn 2! See ya then!”

6 thoughts on “In Brief: Brightburn

  1. I liked Brightburn but agree you that it was hampered by the budget and obvious intention to lead into other movies. It would seem Brightburn is the only one of his kind to have crash landed on Earth. The ending mentioned some woman and an acquatic being. So while we have Brightburn, we may also have a Wonder Woman and Aquaman equivalent in any possible sequel.

    1. I think Brightburn is based on some comics but I haven’t had sufficient enthusiasm to look into it, it may have a whole mythology of other DC analogues for all I know- as you say, that end-credits sequence seemed to hint at that kind of thing. Just repelled me, frankly, and I have little interest for the inevitable sequel.

      1. I think James Gunn had the idea of a dark take on the Superman origin story. I don’t think it is going further as a franchise. Things are are prett cornered in that market with Marvel and DC.

  2. Matthew McKinnon

    Honestly wasn’t so bothered by the epilogue. I think the film had enough narrative closure with the way the mother/child relationship worked out.

    The bits tacked on the end just felt unnecessary: like ending The Omen with a montage of newspaper clippings detailing Damien’s path through life, and political career. I get it already, guys. You don’t need to illustrate the implications for me. I can imagine them better.

    What irked me about Brightburn was that the setup was great, the cast were great and the ‘alien influence’ bits were quite creepy. But the actual action was repetitive and boring.
    Always the exact same pattern:

    1) someone is alone
    2) they sense they’re being watched
    3) they/we see creepy kid lurking
    4) cat and mouse for a minute or so then
    5) kid zooms in a super speed, and we cut out of scene.

    Each and every time.

  3. It’s got a good one-line premise — “what if Superman but evil” — but that’s more or less all it has to offer that’s fresh. I thought it was fine, but not special. If the sequel was a kind of Evil Justice League, though, that might be interesting. At least they’d have more characters to riff off, so it might feel fresher for longer.

  4. Pingback: The 2020 List: March – the ghost of 82

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