There is an old saying, “Be careful what you wish for”; which means that what you wish for may not be what you thought was going to come true. For example, wishing to get a lot of money and when your wish is granted, it comes from the unfortunate death of a loved one. Like that in the tale of The Monkey’s Paw.
Or what if two parents, having fertility problems wishes for a child. They find a child as the sole survivor of an alien spaceship crash in the woods. Like John and Martha Kent in Superman, right? Sort of, Superman was sent to earth to save it. But in Brightburn, this child is sent here to take over the world. Or should I say destroy it?
Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle (David Denman) Breyer desperately want to start a family. But due to fertility issues, it seems that their wish may never come true until a spaceship crashes in the woods and they discover a mysterious baby boy. Superman, right? Wrong. So very, very wrong. The couple along with the people in their town realize that when the child reaches the age of 12 his so-called quirkiness and extremely high IQ is no longer cute; it turns into something they could have never imagined or have the capability to stop.
Brightburn is Superman gone wrong. When Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn) hits puberty, he discovers that he is not an ordinary pre-adolescent teenager. He discovers he has super abilities that allow him to fly, be stronger than others and incinerate anything and anyone with his eyes. But unlike Superman, the spacecraft that brought him to earth seems to control him. He hears voices in his head not telling him to do good, but to do bad things. He frantically scribbles his initials in his notebook along with graphic images that are in his head. Or are they? He wears a red cape and cowl with that is tied in the front with a tightly bound rope.
The movie is suspenseful, but it seems to be missing something. It is that something that is hard to describe but would have made this film go from ordinary to extraordinary. It is a sense of feeling or involvement moviegoers get when they are invested in films. At times the pace of the movie is lethargic, not much happening; therefore, it comes across as bland. But towards the end of the movie, it picks up the pace and the film becomes intense and the scenes are brutal. It separates itself from comic book lore to horror film status. The killings are unforgiving as Dunn’s character becomes more comfortable with his abilities. There is literally a jaw-dropping truck accident scene that will make viewers squint their eyes and tighten their mouths as they are forced to watch the atrocities that are happening onscreen.
What do you do if you find out your child is pure evil? Would you defend your child until the end? Would you try to send him back (if you found him in the woods in an alien spacecraft)? Tori (Banks) and Kyle (Denman) had to deal with all these questions and a lot more. Kyle is more realistic of who his son is becoming and tries to take matters into his own hands, while Tori defends her son above all others. Both parents’ decisions have profound consequences that will have viewers talking for some time to come. David Yarovesky’s Brightburn (produced by James Gun and Kenneth Huang) is worth the price of admission, it is just unfortunate that it did not start in the fashion that it ended.