Cinematic Releases: We Need To Talk About Supervillains: Brightburn (2019) - Reviewed

Evil has found its superhero. 

From producer James Gunn and his family members comes a new vision in terror. Calling back to the early days of Slither, a tiny plot that uses the standard Superman tropes to full effect ends up giving us one of the best comic book type movies of the year that's not based on any type of existing material. Brightburn takes the hope and positivity of the Kent family tale and flips it on its head, making for an hour and ninety minutes of jaw dropping gore and tension that's a perfect balance for the wholesome product we typically get from the major cinematic universes like Marvel or DC. This entire project knows the exact audience it's going for and offers up a silver platter of great looking visual effects, a pulsating horror score, and awesome performances all around. 

When a young boy realizes he has other worldly super powers, things get ugly for the town of Brightburn. Breaking down the elements we all know and love from the Clark Kent playbook, young Brandon Breyer decides to go the alternate route. Instead of claiming boy scout, all American status, he goes for the throat. Literally. Mashing, maiming and destroying everything that comes in his way, no one or nothing is safe. At the youthful age of 12, Brandon is full force evil incarnate and ready to take the entire world captive. Much like Chronicle several years ago, Brightburn is an excellent play on the realm of comic book films but spins the ideas into a non-formulaic plot that feels fresh and exciting. Horror fans will also love how extreme this movie is. 

Damn pinkeye again. Gotta start washing my hands!

Going for unrelenting gore and all out human carnage, Brightburn is a solid lesson in creating methodical madness while also mixing in a cold hand of satire. It might never really be funny, but David Yarovesky's second full length film is a testament to creativity and intelligence meeting in the middle to deliver something new to bored audiences with some tongue in cheek humor. However, the one major thing that can be thrown at this thing is some of the haphazard editing. Several scenes feel truncated or not put together properly. Sometimes the flow between shots is rushed or band aided together. This pulls the viewer out of the story and might have them scratching their heads. Yet, the overall finished product is pretty great. 

The most compelling thing about Brightburn is the obvious nods to modern parenting and the violence caused by children. At what point do we stop protecting awful kids and realize there's nothing we can do to save them? This is a question posed by We Need To Talk About Kevin back in 2011? And it's asked here under the more forgiving construct of a major pop culture reference. Elizabeth Banks pulls out all the stops to portray a mother that's struggling to realize that her (alien) son is the taker of worlds, an all encompassing evil being that will stop at nothing to acquire dominance. And damn, this is one of her best performances ever. In fact, the film is nearly too short to give anyone the time to expand on the major themes that are actually at play in Brightburn

If you've burned out on Marvel. And you are waiting for DC to get their act together. And you've got a thirst for horror, Brightburn will most definitely have something for you. The movie gets more right than most straight adaptations and makes perfect use of all actors involved. With twenty more minutes added on top of some better editing, this would easily go down as one of the best genre films of 2019. Hopefully, we get an extended cut when it hits blu-ray in a couple months. This was a really fun watch with a packed house. It's a definite suggested viewing!

-Chris George