Brightburn

He's not here to save the world
He's not here to save the world

BRIGHTBURN (15)

D: David Yarovesky

Sony/Screen Gems/Stage 6/Troll Court/The H Collective (James Gunn & Kenneth Huang)

USA 🇺🇸 2019

90 mins


Science Fiction/Horror


W: Brian Gunn & Mark Gunn

DP: Michael Dalletorre

Ed: Andrew S. Eisen

Mus: Timothy Williams 


Elizabeth Banks (Tori Breyer), David Denman (Kyle Breyer), Jackson Dunn (Brandon Breyer), Emmie Hunter (Caitlyn), Matt Jones (Noah), Meredith Hagner (Merilee), Becky Wahlstrom (Erica)


Personally, I think a solid idea was wasted in this twist on superhero origin stories. The idea itself is fundamentally good, starring Elizabeth Banks and David Denman as a married couple living in a rural Kansas community, raising an alien child who possesses superhuman abilities only to eventually use them for evil, rather than good.

It's The Omen meets Superman, doubling up as an allegory for pubescent adolescence, as the boy at the heart of the story (Brandon Breyer - played by Jackson Dunn) discovers the truth of his existence and resents his adoptive parents because of it.

The film spends most of its 90 minutes focusing on a family being torn apart by a lie, and though the performances are generally decent, there was scope for a lot more for this idea.

For me, the setup was totally wrong, showing far too much in the opening scene, where the revelation could have had a lot more impact if the audience discovered the truth when Brandon Breyer does. Also, the villainous child has no real internal conflict going on, as the writer's just seem to settle on making him evil for the sake of being evil.  The moral of the story being that there's a thin line between an ability and a curse is an interesting one, but it just isn't driven enough here.

A disappointing treatment of a good plot device, completely underwritten and quite poorly executed.  The "news footage" scenes inserted into the end credits scenes would have made for a much better movie.

5/10


Jackson Dunn in Brightburn
Jackson Dunn in Brightburn
Did You Know:
Superman traditionally stands for "truth, justice and the American way". The essay Caitlyn is writing when she's visited by Brandon is "The Decline of Truth and Justice in the Modern World", identifying Brandon as a twisted, dark version of Superman born from the death of the values that the original one embodied.