Friday, May 17, 2019

Brightburn (2019)

In the age of superhero movies this concept seems like a no brainer. Kid from another planet arrives on Earth and is raised by the rural couple who finds him. As the child grows he learns that he has the powers of Superman. What happens next is the intense flip side of the mythology you thought you knew. This was the movie James Gunn produced while he was going through all that crap with his tweets and his job with Disney. I would like to think he channeled some of his anger over that situation and put it into this film. Everyone involved is on their game and I have to admit that this one really got to me. It was written by Brian and Mark Gunn which also makes this a family project.

Things do start out idyllic but then they get dark pretty fast. You know where this one is going from the trailer and once THAT choice is made then there is really only one outcome for everyone involved. It's a sweet slow burn and the creators do an excellent job at playing to all our fears. This is probably the way the Superman story would have occured if it really happened in our world.


It was a comic book before it became the movie. The movie is less interested in the alien aspects of the child, something that the comic book relies on heavily. But the kid is clearly under the influence of what brought him to Earth in the first place. Even the love of a good mother can't overcome biology. This movie is all about nature vs nurture and nature always wins out.
There are many intense scenes of super powers gone bad. I admit, I cringed a number of times but I am squeamish about things like broken bones and a person pulling glass from their eye. The effects here are very well done and often over the top gruesome. Sometimes the tension is unbearable as the kid becomes more and more uncontrollable. Then I realized this isn't a superhero movie at all. It's a horror film. A monster story. And bad things happen to good people in a monster story.
The kid playing Brandon is very good as is Elizabeth Banks as his Mother. This is a solid film that will stick with me for awhile. I hope a sequel gets made because I want to see what happens as this kid grows up now.

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