It is sometimes the simplest of things that can spark the best of ideas. To be sat watching the innocent, helpful Superman one-day and suddenly think, “what if he’d been evil?”.
The answer is Brightburn, the new film from the Gunn family with Brian and Mark (“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island”, “2gether: The Series (TV)”) on writing duties and James (“Guardian’s Of The Galaxy 2“, “The Belko Experiment“) on producing duties.
They’ve all handed over directing duties to David Yarovesky (“The Hive”, “Ghild (Short)”) for this horror film that will make you look at Superman in a whole new light.
Tori and Kyle Breyer, Elizabeth Banks (“The Lego Movie 2“, “The Happytime Murders“) and David Denman (“Logan Lucky“, “13 Hours”), are desperate for a child but aren’t having much luck. That is until one day when something falls from the sky, a capsule of some sort, with a child on board.
They name him Brandon, Jackson A. Dunn (“Avengers: Endgame“, “Legendary Dudas”), and all is well up until his 12th birthday. This is when the capsule he arrived in begins talking to him and glowing ominously red.
Brandon begins to take a turn for the moody, which is put down to puberty, but that’s not it, that’s not it at all. Brandon begins to exact revenge on those he believes have wronged him, or those that are going to tell his parents.
As things escalate, quickly, Kyle is the first to realise something is definitely not right with Brandon, though it takes Tori a bit longer to twig. Even after Brandon’s uncle, Matt Jones (“A Bad Idea Gone Wrong“, “Home”), is killed, brutally, she still refuses to believe her little boy has done anything wrong.
Whatever the capsule is, whatever or whoever Brandon really is, he is being told to do bad things and seems powerless to resist. Is anyone safe?
I was completely psyched about seeing Brightburn from the moment I heard about and learnt what it was all about. The trailer did nothing to dispel my anticipation and I’m pleased to say the movie doesn’t dampen them either.
Whilst it races through its story, a brisk running time these days of an hour and a half, it means Brightburn feels edgy and intense. There are scenes that you expect something to happen, because that thing would happen in other movies. But not Brightburn. Brightburn runs on where others would stop, it zooms in where others would cut-away.
It’s a gruesome film (though has scenes cut for the UK market?!? What the hell is that all about?!?) but also has some dark-humoured moments too. You find yourself chuckling at the strangest, gruesome moments…just me?
What writers Brian and Mark have managed to do is create a whole new anti-hero, in this time of all-American heroes. They’ve introduced him brilliantly, racing through his childhood, there’s no long, drawn out scenes of him being an ordinary child. We just get stuck in as he learns who he is.
That doesn’t mean everything is answered though. The story lends itself to Brandon learning more about who he is, where he’s from and, of course, the whole thing is marvellously setup for sequels, I’m going with plural because I believe there’s a lot more to come from this evil little dude, a lot more.