Directed By David Yarovesky.
Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, and Meredith Hagner.
After raising a crash landed alien orphan for 12 years his onset of super abilities open up dark possibilities for the town of Brightburn
A couple, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman) , struggling to conceive themselves, adopt a seemingly normal little boy who crash lands in an alien ship in their backyard. In a small mid-western town they raise him as their own son Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn). They don’t reveal his true identity until powers begin to manifest and strange things begin happening around him. Sound familiar at all?
Almost every review of Brightburn is going to reference its similarities to Superman, which is inevitable as the similarities are completely on the surface with zero subtlety about it from the writer Briand and Mark Gunn. There are definite upsides with this approach just not caring that you know how this story starts, with them taking us down a darker road after these powers come.
Using a combination of horror tropes with the superhero element we see Brandon experiment with his powers and go down a deeply disturbing and creepy path, attacking those who used to know him as a normal kid who might expose him in increasingly sickening fashion. The finale shows a full unleashing of his powers and considering the budget of the film is done exceptionally well.
Jackson A. Dunn is wonderfully creepy in his debut performance as Brandon Breyer, showing the psychopathic side a bit more throughout the film. Its a shame with the pacy but short 90 minute runtime that we don’t get to see more of “nice, good, smart kid” Brandon before the turn which would have made this even more chilling, with this done more through exposition.
Elizabeth Banks and David Denman give solid performances as well but again their character development feels truncated to allow for more of the elongated creepy scenes, a decision that is totally understandable as these were the films highlights.
I guess my main issue with Brightburn is that I wanted more. It whet the appetite with what it offers but didn’t fill me up. It’s fast paced, though could have benefited from slowing down and giving the audience more to chew on and think about.
That said this is a fun distraction movie, with well done effects and solid performances that keep the movie flowing forwards. I think with some more time this could have been a real summer surprise, unfortunately it falls just short of that and I fear will leave many with high expectations, considering the pedigree of the producing and writing team, a little disappointed.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★/ Movie: ★ ★ ★