Anytime James Gunn produces something, we’re always interested, and Brightburn sort of had us on board from the get-to. That’s not to give him too much credit, as the script was handled by two OTHER Gunns- Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn– and David Yarovesky handled directing duties.
Advertised as a “What if Superman were evil” pitch (seriously, think Red Son Superman, but from his very beginnings on farm), we had a pretty good notion that the result would, at the very least, be entertaining and enjoyable.
Imagine if you will, the basic arrival of Kal El on Earth, in a small rural Kansas town, on a farm owned by a delightful couple who really want a kid. That’s the beginning of Brightburn. From there, things go about the way you assume they would in this case- the young boy, Brandon (played by Jackson A. Dunn) begins to discover how “special” he is compared to other kids his age.
Mom and Dad are played by Elizabeth Banks and David Denman, and they really do TRY their best to raise an alien son who may or may not be the actual most evil thing the planet has ever seen.
Not to give too much away- as the ending will surprise you- we WILL warn you about some particularly gorey moments. Lots of blood, some pretty badass effects that made the most hardened in my screening super squidgy, so be prepared.
SCORE: 3.5 out of 5, viewed in standard, would see again with a crowd
Rather than straight comparing it to Superman, I would tell a friend that this is like a what if John Carpenter went full….John Carpenter….on Starman, with elements of the classic Billy Mummy episode of The Twilight Zone, “It’s A Good Life” and the followup, “It’s Still A Good Life” from the revival in 2002.
Brightburn hits theaters nation-wide on Thursday, May 24th 2019.