Horror is the main focus here as this movie takes the concept of a hero, and turns it upside down. This is basically the opposite origin of Superman, the entire way through. It’s about the destroyer, as opposed to the godly symbol of hope. This idea is perfect, but the execution here is rather weak. The story feels like it’s hitting the core points of what this tale should have, while missing the heart.
There’s not really a sense of doubt, or any sort of confusion as one psychopath just begins to go crazy. It’s certainly gruesome, but that’s really all it has. It’s just scene after scene of horror mixed with a bit of violence. Some plot elements are left behind, and generally it feels like a mostly confusing mess. There were some strong ideas, but they needed to be tied together better in order to make this cohesive and to generally have it make more sense than it does.
By the end, it was sort of just alright and hit every point I expected it to. I wasn’t surprised, or even really too blown away by what I had witnessed. This is a dark character, but you don’t exactly get a full idea as to why. That just makes it feel hollow, despite having one really neat setup behind it.
I thought the acting was generally fine, with the lead kid being a real dead psychopath in this. That was Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) the weird kid that acted normal until he was gifted a purpose from his out of this world origins. The mother was Elizabeth Banks and she did a fine job trying to keep this whole thing going.
Not a whole lot for anyone to work with, as it only tiptoed around the core elements of what could have made this one fascinating experience. The scenes were intense, and the destruction felt impactful. You could see this light, young individual grow incrementally with each part of the death filled journey. This part was well executed, you were always wondering what sort of dark place he’d go next. At the same time, there really wasn’t any struggle, despite the need for it.
Brightburn has an interesting core concept, but doesn’t deliver on it with a narrative that seems to miss key elements. The acting was generally fine here, but a lot of the story really didn’t make sense. There wasn’t a sense of struggle to this character, and it was just a purity of evil the entire way through. Some of the plot gets left behind, and it just sort of goes how you’d expect it to.
At times it had a great sense of horror, and atmosphere. It just didn’t use those in a very successful way that could have made this memorable. It’ll likely be a forgotten film, despite the novelty of the idea of Superman turning bad. The motivations just didn’t make sense to me, and I was generally disappointed by the end of it. It just goes on how you imagine it would, no surprises or twists along the way. Just a straight forward showcase of evil where the main bad guy doesn’t even complete his goals.
Brightburn Review at Theater with Standard Viewing