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Today's cinema is full of superheroes. It is a phenomenon that, in some way, was inevitable since the development of digital technology. Some would say that the digital special effects did the same as the appearance of synchronized sound at the end of the twenties of the last century: to constitute a decisive factor for the retreat of audiovisual expression and the psychological depth within what we call cinema.
But the truth is that the rise of superhero movies is due to more factors, such as generalized infantilism, or the apocalyptic imaginary of our era. However, not everything is silly or frivolous. That is shown by Christopher Nolan's films, but also some by Joss Whedon or the Russo brothers, capable of even sketching brilliant historical or socio-political comments.
Well, with "Brightburn" comes to our rooms another variant of superhero movies. This time it is a conceptual creation of Brian and Mark Gunn, brother and cousin, respectively, of James Gunn - the same as "Guardians of the Galaxy" -. The proposal is ingenious: imagine a kind of Superman story, but vice versa; that is, the arrival on Earth of a baby from another planet, but which, instead of good, he's evil.
The script is committed to developing a kind of fantastic fable that puts in brackets, for a good time, the fact that we know that Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) is actually a baby found in a space capsule that, one day, it crashed outside the house of happy marriage consisting of Kyle (David Denman) and Tori Breyer (Elizabeth Banks).
In the first part, David Yarovesky, the director of the film, seems to be interested in carefully articulating the profile and motivations of his characters. Banks, an actress with talent for drama, but wasted by Hollywood, manages to give her mother role a tender, comprehensive and somewhat overprotective bias. The interesting thing, in her case, has to do with her convincing process regarding the true moral nature of her child.
In fact, it is this questioning about what kind of ethical inclination nests deep in the child's mind that makes this kind of ‘thriller’, of subtle character study, which takes place during the first hour valuable. In fact, Brandon is a boy who does not yet know his origin. He thinks he is a human like any other, and is even bothered by his friends at school for being too intelligent and studious.
Jackson A. Dunn is a revelation, with its mixture of introversion and sharp looks that can communicate a very wide range of feelings. In fact, all the emotional problems of this boy - which, according to the script, has to do with his telepathic communication with the space capsule hidden in a basement of the family barn - is a good metaphor for the traumatic passage to adolescence that any child experiences.
Unfortunately, this theme - the emergence of evil in childhood -, which refers to classics such as "The Bad Seed" (Melvin Leroy, 1956) or, from a perspective more linked to terror, to "The Prophecy" (Richard Donner, 1976 ), is wasted in the second half. Everything becomes erratic and the psychological study is changed by the bloody realism of a supervillain determined to take revenge. All the anguish of the parents, so well worked, becomes a physical war, a game of persecutions and traps where irony seems to trivialize everything... Even the apparent triumph of evil, which does not necessarily have to be a very creative fact or a bold bet on a Hollywood movie.