Brightburn

When I saw the previews for this movie, I knew I had to see it. It was plainly obvious that the writers took the idea of Superman and turned him evil. A whole slew of what-if’s presented itself in my mind. It was not an easy movie to digest. We’ve had 80+ years of the good alien guy who would never do anything that the protagonist does in this movie. Was this Zod’s spawn instead? Or Clark Kent gone bad, very baaaad?

Superhero Horror, a new thing

If you do love the superhero genre and are not tired of it, this is a must-watch film. Directed by (the Guardians of the Galaxy ) David Yarovesky and produced by James Gunn and Kenneth Huang. Writers Brian and Mark Gunn give us a unique expansion into this genre with ‘superhero horror’. Just be forewarned there are jarring moments and extremely gory scenes. The soundtrack aids in hammering home the darkness and a build-up of intensity as Brandon Breyer played by Jackson A. Dunn becomes more emboldened with each step into ultimate villainy.

[Spoilers from here on out!]

Programming: Nature vs Nurture

The question that first comes up is that despite all the good his adoptive earthly parent do in raising him, he still chooses the dark side. [Spoiler] He kills them without a signal drop of remorse. It is unclear to me whether he was programmed in his DNA towards evil (which would mean he can’t help himself) or whether the programming occurred during the journey to Earth and got activated upon him hitting puberty at 12 (which would mean there must be some good in him and he can feasibly be deprogrammed). I’m thinking if it’s the later, then the original programming is far superior to the earthly programming he got because it clearly takes over in the end.

More Questions

The age factor. It’s interesting how the writers go with the onslaught of puberty as the trigger for this kid. In the Superman mythos, Clark Kent gets called by holo-dad when he’s in high school and heads north to find out who he is and the reason he’s on Earth.

Brandon on the other hand stays put listening to the voices coming from the hidden spaceship in an alien tongue declaring that he should “Take the world!”. You add his diminutive stature where he looks more like an 8-year old, gets treated as such by constant babying by parents who don’t know how to parent it seems, and school bullies who tease his genius level intellect, well it’s a recipe that explodes with disaster for everybody.

You know, twelve year olds aren’t really known for maturity or rational responses to stressful situations so having superpowers would just naturally cause him to become conceited quick and reckless. He goes from disobedience to lying to murder to all-out destruction swiftly. He does think of himself superior to all and says so quite casually. The first time he realizes he has powers is during the lawnmower scene where out of frustration in getting the machine to start, he inadvertently flings it sending it flying across the field. When he comes upon the mower, he stares at the blades spinning, daring himself, he sticks his hand in only to see that he’s able to warp the blades.

Secret School Crush

Next up we get introduced to his secret school crush Caitlyn aka the Lana Lang. Unfortunately for her, Brandon pulverizes her hand and breaks her wrist. We see her later with a cast and he stalks her (kinda like Superman Returns all over again). There is no way her hand will ever be normal again. This interaction also brings into the whole ‘alien superhero romance with earth woman’ conundrum. You know if an older Brandon tries to get romantic physically, that chick is roadkill.

Speaking of roadkill, how Brandon kills his uncle is just gory. So gory. I won’t give away what happens but it was scenes like this one that left a hole in my soul watching them.

Bye Dad, C-Ya Mom!

By the time Brandon Breyer kills his dad, I’m like somebody needs to take this jerk out. If there is a sequel in the works, I’d love to see a superhero take BB out preferably Wonder Woman or Supergirl because you know Batman doesn’t stand a chance with this 12-year old. There is no Martha to stop the eventual carnage. He’d be burnt human toast in 5 seconds just like dad.

Kryptonite?

I can hear Nicholas Cage screaming out “Kryptonite” in his obnoxious, over-the-top manner that I love. Yep, the only other thing to take this monster down is his glowing-red, baby spaceship. De facto Kryptonite.  It’s the only thing that cuts him and makes him bleed as his mom finds out. Unfortunately, she is unable to do the deed herself and gets killed in probably one of THE MOST horrendous ways. Elizabeth Banks does a fantastic job of being the ‘Martha Kent’ here. She still believes in her ‘baby boy’ but baby boy (look at the arrogance in the pic below) gives absolutely zero f*cks.

We come to end of the movie, where we are treated to news clips of Brandon’s destruction and murder of humans around Brightburn, the small town in Kansas where this all takes place. He must have really hated living in that small town. Zany actor, Michael Rooker gives us a nice mock of A-l-e-x-J-o-n-e-s in the YouTube scene at the very end. Hilarious.

There is so much to pick apart and analyze with this but I’ll end it here.

Photoschmoto’s Rating: 5/5. Go see!


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