Critics and moviegoers don’t always see eye-to-eye. If they did, Kevin James would likely be sealed off in a brick cage sometime around Paul Blart 2. Nestled snugly in the “critics hated it, but folks didn’t stay away” funhouse is Netflix’s orc cop drama Bright. Netflix has pointed at the viewership totals for Bright as an argument that critics are disconnected from the audience. One of the film’s stars (the most visible orc, no less) provided his own thoughts on the divide.
In an interview with Collider, Joel Edgerton touched on the critical panning the film received. He concedes that the format of having a film on Netflix creates a different playing field for a motion picture in terms of viewership in terms of accessibility, but he also suggests that Netflix could have a bad reputation with critics.
“I think there was a little bit of extra critical hate towards it because it’s changing the landscape of the movie business, but I think Bright is maybe a movie that needs to be reviewed by public opinion rather than viewed through the highbrow prism of film criticism.”
This seems like a good time to gesture wildly at Netflix original fare that gets raves from critics.
Seeing as Edgerton was also in Suicide Squad helmed by Bright director David Ayer, it’s not like this is his first critical mauling rodeo. (Heck, Ayer likened the experience to having his throat cut.) If there’s a common ground for both camps, it’s that this dynamic will exist until the end of time. There’s going to be critical drubbings of blockbusters and films adored by reviewers that couldn’t draw flies in a garbage dump. Bright 2 is happening either way, so we’ll likely have a chance to do this dance all over again.