Parents' Guide to

Bright: Samurai Soul

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Anime-adventure spin-off has graphic violence and gore.

Movie PG-13 2021 80 minutes
Bright: Samurai Soul Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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While the animation is a hit when there's action, the visuals take a hit when there's none. Also, lots about Bright: Samurai Soul feels rushed, not just the animation. The writing and scripting also feel quickly slapped together, as does some of the editing. Indeed, this is jarring, because sometimes it produces confusing moments, like in the beginning when Raiden first appears and murders everyone, only to turn around and become a super nice guy because of one sentence he says, or like when near the end, Raiden may or may not have just been killed (only to magically appear completely whole in the film's outro). So much of this world, this story, and these characters could be great, but there hasn't been enough time to build them up and give them real backstory, history, and weight.

Lots of this has to do with trying to do something with such bare and cliched tropes: a mysterious samurai/ninja/warrior, a magical elf girl, an orc with a heart of gold and not evil, a magical source of power that can win any future war. Most anime and action-adventure viewers have already seen this movie many times. Nothing new here. But the animation is flashy during the action sequences, the voice acting is decent, and the relationship between Izou and Raiden is at least much more believable and dynamic than the live-action original's Daryl Ward (Will Smith) and Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton).

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