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Review of Bruiser

Bruiser (2000) George A. Romero Director
Starring Jason Flemyng, Peter Stormare, and Leslie Hope

Henry Creedlow is a cog in the machine of life. He’s nothing special. His wife doesn’t love him, his co-workers ignore him, his boss can’t remember who he is, and his investment banker friend sees him as just another client. So what happens when a nobody loses who he is? The answer is Bruiser.

Let me start by noting that I have been a fan of Romero’s since the first time I saw Dawn of the Dead.
(Most likely at the when I was “chaperoning” one of my older sister’s dates. Truly a good venue to see any horror flick is sitting atop a van at a drive-in eating pizza. I think I saw most of the horror movies from 1975-1979 this way.)

In Bruiser Romero examines the idea of identity and self image. There are no jump out and yell “BOO!” moments in the movie but there are several disturbing moments of twitching corpses and lingering deaths. Romero does a good job with a cast of character actors and at the time unknowns which seems to be his forte. This movie was Romero’s first return to directing since 1993’s The Dark Half.

Bruiser stars Jason Flemyng who has done enough movies to make you want to look him up on imdb.com and see what he’s done that you recognize him from. For me it was the fact that he played Dr. Henry Jekyll in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. His British accent does try and sneak itself in on occasion but isn’t horribly detrimental to the film.
Flemyng plays Henry Creedlow who works for Bruiser, a fashion forward magazine which is run by a degenerate creep named Milo Styles, played here very effectively by Peter Stormare. Henry seems content with his mediocrity. He doesn’t stand out. He doesn’t speak up. He doesn’t draw attention to himself. He is a cypher. When his nondescript life begins to fall apart though he begins to lose his grasp on reality with lucid daydreams of murder. As his world crumbles more he loses who he is, waking up one morning without a face. Freed from his public mask, Henry begins acting out his daydreams.

Whether you are looking for a standard thriller or wish to examine the deeper issue of how much of our public face is us and how much is how other people react to us Bruiser delivers.

This film is currently available on netflix.

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