Film Review: Brightburn

Mild spoilers follow!

Brightburn is a different kind of superhero film, which many will welcome in an industry that is riddled with them at the moment. But, is it any good?

Essentially, the plot of Brightburn boils down to one question: What if Superman was evil? A young couple finds a crashed spaceship with a baby boy inside, and they adopt and raise him as their own child. As he grows older, he realizes he is different from everyone else and begins to display unusual abilities, eventually using these powers for evil.

The concept of Brightburn is great, it’s interesting and unique. Sadly, the execution of this concept is a mixed bag which meant I left the cinema feeling like this film never really reached its full potential.

There is a lot to cram into a 90-minute runtime, so understandably Brightburn doesn’t have enough time to flesh out characters, motivations and various plotlines fully. As I watched, I couldn’t stop thinking to myself: This would be a fantastic TV series… 

Some aspects of Brightburn are really good, when it is going full-on horror it is genuinely quite disturbing and unsettling and will definitely maintain your attention and have you on the edge of your seat. However, this is let down by a screenplay that is quite cringe-worthy and nonsensical at times, letting down the excellent cast who are trying to do their best with what was given to them. When the audience is laughing at moments that are not intended to be laughed at, you know mistakes have been made during the process. The first half of Brightburn far exceeds the second half; which resorts to the standard cliché horror tropes and uses them over and over again, which does become quite tiresome and left the audience feeling underwhelmed.

I didn’t dislike Brightburn, but I just wasn’t blown away by it either. When you leave a film thinking more about what could have been, rather than the details of what you’ve just seen, you know that you’ve just watched something that was a massive missed opportunity. But, the concept and the story, as well as the performances, were enough to keep me engaged. I would be quite interested in seeing this universe expanded upon in some form, because the concept really is brilliant, and I’d be happy to see another attempt at executing it to its full potential, whether that be in a film with a bigger budget or a Netflix/Amazon Prime series which would allow characters to be fleshed out effectively.

Do I think that will happen? I’m not so sure, but early box office projections would suggest that nobody will be rushing to make more, but never say never!

Overall, Brightburn is worth a watch, but I wouldn’t rush out to see it if I were you. Just wait for it to come on a streaming service or TV!

I give Brightburn a 5.5/10. 


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