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Watch this: Bright on Netflix

Mis-matched cops Ward (Will Smith) and Jakoby (Joel Edgerton) under fire in Bright

REMEMBER the film Alien Nation, when James Caan's gruff human LA detective was reluctantly partnered with Mandy Pantinkin's erudite ET?

Netflix's new movie Bright takes the Alien Nation model and gives it a fantasy twist, creating an alternative reality in which we've been co-existing with orcs, elves and fairies since time immemorial – though not always harmoniously.

Directed by David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) and written by Max Landis (Dirk Gently, Chronicle) the film follows a seasoned LA beat cop Daryl Ward (Will Smith) who has reluctantly been paired up with Nick Jakoby (an unrecognisable Joel Edgerton), the first orc to join the LAPD.

A financially struggling family man with one eye on retirement – who's also a sassy, street-smart bad-ass, because Will Smith – Ward is thoroughly displeased with the extra attention this thoroughly nice rookie orc is bringing him: cue the usual 'mismatched cop duo' bickering and banter.

However, after finding themselves in a Bad Situation where it seems like the plot is about to start aping Ayer's cop movie calling card Training Day, Ward and Jakoby are forced to rely on each other as they fight to prevent various villainous parties – including Noomi Rapace's glamorous dark elf, Leilah – from gaining control of an all-powerful magic wand which would wreak havoc on the city/world.

You might well have snorted while reading that last bit, but Bright is a pretty slick, action-packed stab at combining fantasy lore with gritty urban cops-derived thrills.

Well worth a watch for fans of either genre.

:: Bright is available on Netflix now.

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