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BRUISER

"Lacks Resolution"

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What You Need To Know:

BRUISER is a family drama on Hulu about the coming of age of a 14-year-old black teenager, his family dynamics and relationship to a drifter who may be more than what he seems. Coming home for vacation from his expensive preparatory school in the city, 14-year-old Darious finds himself without friends. Also, his strict father, Malcolm, a car salesman, is overly busy and aloof, and his Christian mother, Monica, is loving but somewhat suffocating. Darious finds out the drifter, Porter, is his biological father. He decides to try to get to know Porter. However, this creates conflict, especially with the stepfather. Has Darious, in seeking solace from someone “cool” rather than someone of good character, made a mistake he’ll regret?

There’s just enough character development in BRUISER to make the story interesting. The cinematography, writing and acting are good, but the movie’s other production values are just middling. Also, the ending doesn’t resolve the conflicts and problems the story creates. This leaves viewers hanging. Finally, BRUISER’s positive Christian, moral content is marred by many “f” words. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

Content:

(BB, C, Pa, LLL, VV, S, A, D, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview with some Christian elements in a story where a 14-year-old boy is torn between his wayward biological father and his strict stepfather, but the boy’s mother is a Christian who tells her son that, if they are good to his biological father, “the Lord will be good to us,” plus the boy’s mother, stepfather and father offer him some emotional support and positive parental guidance, but the biological father encourages the boy to disobey his other parents, the other characters don’t always do the right thing either, and the movie’s ending doesn’t resolve the story’s conflicts and problems, leaving viewers adrift

Foul Language:
At least, 60 obscenities (including about 40 “f” words), two strong profanities, and two light profanities

Violence:
Strong and light violence includes two teenage boys scuffle, and one throws the other to the ground and holds his head down while hitting him, a boy tries to lift weights but takes on more than he can handle, and the bar sinks down on his chest, which starts to crush and choke him (he’s saved by his father after managing to call for help), a man punches another man (with some blood on face), a teenage boy falls down on cement and is punched him repeatedly (there’s blood on his face and the impact is shown repeatedly), a man is rough with a teenage boy several times; two men fight on the side of the road at night (there’s wrestling, punching, yelling, and some blood on chests and faces)

Sex:
A woman engages in light foreplay with her husband while he works from home

Nudity:
No nudity

Alcohol Use:
Some people drink beer socially

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
A man smokes a cigarette and offers it to a 14-year-old boy; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
There are some moments of uncontrollable rage, and a man tries to take a teenager on a trip without his parents’ approval or consent then throws out the boy’s cell phone and refuses for a moment to stop and take him back when asked.

More Detail:

BRUISER is a family drama for mature viewers on Hulu about the coming of age of a 14-year-old black teenager named Darious (Jalyn Hall), his family dynamics, and his new relationship to a mysterious drifter named Porter (Trevante Rhodes).

Coming home for vacation from his expensive preparatory school in the city, the teenager finds himself without friends. Also, his strict father, Malcolm, a car salesman, is overly busy and aloof, and his Christian mother, Monica, is loving but somewhat suffocating. When Darious finds out Porter is actually his biological father, who abandoned the family, Darious decides to get to know him anyway. However, this decision causes a conflict between the two men. Has Darious, in seeking solace from someone “cool” rather than someone of good character, made a mistake he will come to regret?

There’s just enough development of the major characters to make BRUISER interesting. Darious’ mom is the best drawn character. However, the movie’s ending doesn’t resolve the conflicts and problems the story raises. This is extremely frustrating to the viewer and makes the movie feel incomplete, as if it’s Part 1 of a series. The movie’s cinematography, writing and acting are good, but the movie’s other production values are just middling. BRUISER is also hampered by far too much foul language, ostensibly written into the script. In the final analysis, the story just leaves its audience hanging.

That said, the movie’s overall worldview surprisingly seems to be one of biblical morality, some Christian imagery, though many of the characters don’t always hew to the dictates of this philosophical framework.

Darious’ mom, Monica, is a woman of faith. For example, a crucifix hangs in her car, and she attends church faithfully. Also, in the difficult situation regarding the biological father, she has a fairly biblical perspective. She tells Darious, “Let’s just be good to Porter, and the Lord will be good to us.” In addition, Darious’ relationships with his mother, stepfather and father are fairly mature. They discuss issues together and give as much emotional support and parental guidance as possible. However, it’s clear that the wayward father had a rough upbringing and it sometimes shows in how he interacts with his son. Also, Darious often disrespects his mother and stepfather verbally and physically. Though the story makes it clear the boy is confused, this fact doesn’t result in the story condoning his bad behavior. Furthermore, Porter, despite his very understandable desire to see Darious, clearly doesn’t have the boy’s best interests at heart. He encourages Darious to disobey his other parents, gets him into trouble, and eventually goes even further than these already troubling issues. As Porter says of himself, “That’s just my life philosophy. Everybody’s got one.” That may be true, but his attitude and viewpoint have some reckless qualities that lead to the big crisis in the movie’s third act.

Finally, BRUISER is so peppered with strong foul language that it becomes distracting. Because of this, and the ending’s lack of any discernible resolution, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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