Director: David Yarovesky

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Jackson A. Dunn, David Denman

Year: 2019

Brightburn attempted to be the anti-story to Superman, but instead ended up the antithesis of cinema, failing to match genre standards, failing to hire talented actors, and failing, generally, to be at all watchable.  A complete failure from the first scene to the last, the film isn’t comic book, action, sci-fi, drama, or horror; it’s, rather, a rancid bubbling cauldron of styles as ingredients that burns a hole through its own base and fouls the floor beneath.  I would be embarrassed if I were at all involved in this picture, I found myself cringing the entire way through, and I could never be sure if that was because I didn’t like what I was seeing or didn’t like what I was supporting just by watching.

Think Clark Kent, but backward, but the same.  Now, that’s Bizarro supposedly, Superman’s opposite, but the character we are about to meet isn’t exactly the flip side of the famous hero, instead he’s what was born of bad intentions instead of good.  Brandon Breyer was found in the forest by his adoptive parents, simple farm folk from Brightburn, Kansas.  They knew he was special (smart, strong, fast, invincible), but they kept the truth of his arrival secret, hoping that some day he would be great things.  Well, he’s about to do things alright, but they aren’t exactly great, and they aren’t exactly nice; meet the world’s newest superhuman psychopath.

It’s the Superman origin story all the way, but, instead of good, Brandon was brought here by some power for evil, and so we see the genesis of a villain from a classic hero story perspective.  Pretty clever idea, I dig it, the script written by a pair of brothers from St. Louis who don’t have much else to their credit so far.  So the idea is solid, but the execution is, unfortunately, the opposite, and Brightburn easily becomes the absolute worst movie of the year.  Instead of innovation it’s cliched, instead of cool it’s disgusting, and instead of hype we get crap, and that’s being nice.  The acting is so bad it’s sad; Banks needs to rethink her profession, and Denman will never not be Roy from The Office.  The stupid townsfolk, the unnecessary gore, the vapid way the parents seemed like they just got their kid in the mail yesterday instead of raising him the past dozen years; it’s a shock to the system how god-awful this film is.  I knew I was done when Elizabeth Banks, being the hippie farm mom she is, started painting purple splotches over a picture of a cow like she was doing some form of art; I wonder what was going through someone’s mind when they allowed that scene to make the final cut.  Really, you could say that about any part of this movie; it all belonged on the cutting room floor.

My rating: ☆



By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils