Brightburn

There’s slow, there’s slow burn, and then there’s Brightburn.

Nepotism can get you far in or out of Hollywood, but in the case of Brightburn, a rote, routine “What If?” Superman-as-supervillain origin story co-written by onetime schlock purveyor-turned-A-list director James Gunn’s brother and cousin, Brian and Mark, respectively, it’s not far enough. Gunn produced Brightburn, but he obviously played a key role in getting the Brightburn script in front of studio executives eager to capitalize on the lucrative superhero genre. He just as likely helped Brian and Mark to shape its not-quite-clever Superman-as-supervillain storyline. Gunn should have given the underwritten, undercooked script four, five, or even six more passes before deeming it worthy of actual production. Brightburn takes a steep dive off a short cliff, repeatedly failing to meet any of the Gunn trio’s supposedly subversive intentions, taking an old-to-comics-new-to-movies premise with promise and potential and instead delivering a flaccid, turgid, ultimately disposable contribution to the genre. (more…)