Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if superman decided to take over the planet rather than save it? Well Brightburn delivers on giving a slight insight into how that might play out. This James Gunn produced 'Superman' alternate reality is a concept I found myself not only extremely curious about but heavily invested in throughout its runtime. It takes such a well known and well loved origin story and twisting it into an unconventional horror/superhero combination that is held up incredibly well by its central characters. The young lead played by Jackson A. Dunn delivers a fantastic and convincing performance that is full of contrast. He convincingly portrays himself as a quiet, timid boy and seemlessly explodes into a menacing, world conquering, emotionless psychopath. His performance alone is not the only standout here. Elizabeth Banks and David Denman are fantastic as the parents dealing with this other-worldly and terrifying situation they have found themselves in. One thing I found to be pleasantly surprising was the the volume of gore and violence shown on screen and was not something I was fully prepared for from a film like this. I found the level of detail in the effects work to be extremely impressive and although there were only 3, maybe 4 memorable moments of explosive gore (some quite literally) it was enough to make an impression. Most notably being the shard of glass being pulled from the eyeball scene in the café and the jaw being ripped in half on the car steering wheel. I think without these scenes being done to the standard they were, or being heavier on the CGI and this film could have really suffered from being quite underwhelming. This is due to the fact that this film feels like a great set up for something the feels like a small insight to a much bigger picture. The costume design was also incredibly effective for how Brandon looks once he makes his transformation. His home made mask and signature superhero cape feels very much how I would expect look if a 13 year old boy had to make this himself with clothing from around his house. Amongst the darkness, his all red ensemble and glowing red eyes looked effective. This is a film that I found to be extremely enjoyable to watch, being a fan of both the horror and superhero genré. Combining the two was something we have seen before but not quite so heavy on the horror side as we do here. I did find it slightly CGI heavy in the closing act and it to be more of a set up film rather than a self-contained arc but even with its flaws this is still a great film. Of all the films I have seen lately, this is one I would love to see a sequel to.