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REVIEW: Brightburn – Super Murder Boy



Directed by: David Yarovesky
Produced by: James Gunn, Kenneth Huang
Written By: Brian and Mark Gunn
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn, Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner
MTRCB Rating: R-13
Genre: , ,
7/ 10

User Rating
16 total ratings



Audiences finally get to see how Superman would murder people


There's not much else beyond the murder. Also the MTRCB cut some of the gorier (i.e. better) moments

The Breyers adopt an alien baby who crash lands on their farm, only for their beloved son to grow up into a super-powered being of pure evil

Posted May 23, 2019 by


Back in the 90s, teenaged boys wondered what would happen if Superman were more murderous. Despite literally no one else asking this stupid question, the idea persisted and has irreparably damaged superhero comics ever since. Brightburn takes this concept seriously and offers a decades-late answer, and let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

Man of Kill


Brightburn [Credit: Sony Releasing Pictures]

If it weren’t obvious in the marketing, Brightburn is a nihilistic reimagining of Superman’s origins. Once again, a loving couple (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) adopts a human-looking alien child who falls from the skies but instead of becoming a big blue boy scout, their son Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn) grows into a super-powered force of evil.

The aforementioned question is finally answered, and seeing Superman’s inhuman abilities (heat vision, super strength and speed, etc.) used with murderous intent is frightening. Though the violence isn’t as over-the-top as expected, the movie uses the idea of a murderous Superboy efficiently. The carnage and destruction Brandon inflicts are a nightmare to behold, and it’s a fun (if violent) change of pace for the superhero genre.

Simply put, Brightburn is the Superman-horror movie that Zack Snyder always wanted Man of Steel to be but without his profoundly simplistic hatred of traditional superheroes. Brightburn works as a violent take on super powers but beyond a murderous instinct, there’s nothing else beneath its cape and cowl.

Surface Level Villainy


Brightburn [Credit: Sony Releasing Pictures]

Deconstructing the superhero myth is a good idea on its own, but there has to be more than just showing the bloody results of using heat vision on some poor bloke’s face. Since it’s a condensed and more restrained deconstruction of superheroes, Brightburn suffers from the same problems that stunted the growth of subversive superhero comics in the 90s.

Brandon’s descent into godhood is well-planned, but this build-up falls flat on a final act filled with nothing but murder. After the engaging emotional arcs that Tori and Kyle Breyer (Banks and Denman, respectively) go through, Brandon’s disturbing identity crisis, and an intriguing premise that’s slowly but surely expanded, it’s slightly disappointing when these are all but dropped in the end to make way for more dead bodies.

Brightburn could’ve said something about the idea of superheroes and how dangerous their presence would be in the real world, yet all it does is indulge itself in the most obvious carnage that its premise allows. But considering how the trade-off could’ve been a self-important mess of bullshit that prioritized pretentious Biblical imagery over tackling the actual subject matter like what transpired in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a heightened slasher movie with a superhero as the killer isn’t that bad a trade.

Super Murder


Brightburn [Credit: Sony Releasing Pictures]

Brightburn may have missed some critical opportunities to help itself transcend the subversive superhero subgenre, but it succeeds in accomplishing the goals it envisioned for itself. Fun, simple, effective, and appropriately dark but without the juvenile misunderstanding of superhero deconstruction codified by terrible 90s comics, Brightburn is the horror movie that superhero fans didn’t know they needed.



Angelo Delos Trinos

Part-time artist and writer, full-time critic/overthinker. He believes that Samuel L.Jackson is the greatest actor on earth and he misses video stores.


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