***/**** Image B- Sound B Extras B-
starring Jason Flemyng, Peter Stormare, Leslie Hope, Nina Garbiras
written and directed by George A. Romero
by Walter Chaw A comic-book morality play along the lines of his Creepshow, horror legend George A. Romero's Bruiser is rife with ideas and the kind of broad audacity that foments disquiet in rough strokes and bleak epiphanies. While it doesn't hold together and is too self-conscious by the end to be anything but a little tedious and a lot predictable, the film's first hour is possessed. Furious and marked by a sense of impending doom, Bruiser begins as exciting and risky an angst-ridden passion play as nearly anything produced in a yuppie-unrest genre that includes dissident films like Wolf, Fight Club, and American Psycho. It opens as a series of castrations for our milquetoast hero, Henry (Jason Flemyng)--humiliated at work, cheated by his friend, cuckolded by his wife (Leslie Hope)--until one day he wakes to find himself the protagonist in a Kafka parable. His face wiped clean of his identity, Henry becomes an amalgam of Ellison's and Wells's invisible men: ignored by society and ironically destroyed by the power bestowed upon him by his own anonymity.