My Name is Bruce (2008)

My Name is Bruce (click for larger image)Reviewed by Nomad

Starring Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Janelle Farber, Ben L. McCain, Ellen Sandweiss

Directed by Bruce Campbell

1986 – The Three Amigos
1999 – Galaxy Quest
2008 – My Name Is Bruce

Every 10 years or so, a phenomenon overtakes Hollywood, injecting a scriptwriter’s mind with thoughts of hapless play acting heroes stepping into shoes not meant for mere mortals. Wackiness ensues, the actors are sent running, but in the end they find the courage to return for the sake of an oppressed people and emerge triumphant. My Name is Bruce is the current incarnation of this re-occurring infection, but while Three Amigos and Galaxy Quest had some moments of hilarity among the ridiculous, Bruce creeps up like a flaming heat rash no ointment can soothe. This phenomenon has turned into a DEATH CUUUURSE!!!

The story unfolds like this: A weekend emo/goth kid unwittingly releases a vengeful Chinese god of destruction … and bean curd. In seconds, the body parts are flying and emo kid sounds the alarm in town. Here’s where the logic gets wonky. Emo boy convinces the town that their only hope is Bruce Campbell, so he abducts the celeb who thinks this is all an elaborate birthday surprise perpetrated by his agent (Ted Raimi, natch!) Now, the towns-people know he is Bruce Campbell…and not Ash. Emo kid is an uber fan and has most likely been spouting off about his hero for some years now, and in a small town, that means everyone knows everything there is to know. Nevertheless, they believe Bruce is the one to lead them and do their best to cater to his every whim.

My Name is Bruce (click for larger image)What happens next is a series of goofy moments including inappropriate come-ons from Bruce toward the only townie with all her teeth, insulting the hicks, redneck dancing 101 and all the classic slapsticky Bruce faces we know and love. It is clear that Bruce (who I need to mention is also the director) has a great love of the classics, as he incorporates a sound board filled with golden oldies torn from many a loony tunes cartoon. Don’t get me wrong; I love Bugs Bunny as much as anyone else, but whenever these gags are shoved into a live action movie, I want to take an Acme anvil to the head. You are also treated to Ted Raimi, master of disguise, who appears as three different characters (two of which are old school stereotypes which would normally have Ted chased through the city.) Way to set back the movement buddy. As if this were not painful enough, the movie is periodically interrupted by two hillbillies from the film with guitars, crooning about the story in what can only be an homage to Something About Mary. Maybe painful is putting it lightly. The only bright moment in this film comes, inexplicably, from cameos by Dan Hicks (Evil Dead 2) and Timothy Patrick Quill (Army of Darkness), whose love for their own rolls, and each other, is funny is a super geeky horror movie fan sort of way. That is the beginning and the end of the funny, I assure you. It’s also worth mentioning that Ellen Sandweiss (Evil Dead) makes a quick appearance … and is still hot.

The menace in My Name is Bruce is provided by what we are to believe is a large, glowing Chinese god which comes off as a guy in an ill fitting rubber suit. The only part of him that seemed effective was his hand, which we see before each attack, for the entire length of the film. The kills are quick and cut away…uninventive, un-funny, and badly executed. At the film’s climax, Bruce actually throws himself at the creature, destroying all sense of size or fierceness your easily amused 12 year old brother may have fallen for before this moment. As to be expected, a short, lame, anticlimactic ending follows.

This is a tiresome film that you could use to torment your friends, convincing them that it is the best Bruce movie to date as you then watch them slowly die inside. The ultimate punk. Honestly, the best thing I can say about the movie is it wasn’t quite as bad as “>Man With The Screaming Brain (review), but it comes pretty damn close. Those seeking out a screening featuring a Bruce Q&A before the film can take away moments of fun, as a Bruce Q&A is almost always 100% honest and in that, hysterical. The film itself, though, is a special kind of torture and you can be sure Bruce will not be waiting to see what you thought of it.

Note: I’ve left out naming the primary actors in this film (sans Ted and Bruce, who should know better by now) in the hopes they can move past this catastrophe and some day have a future in this industry.

1 1/2 out of 5 (Which you will use to off yourself as you watch this)

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  • Terminal

    I finally managed to see this on the Scyfy (Scifi/SCIFI/Sci-Fi?) Channel and I couldn’t agree with your rating more. I thought this was supposed to be a horror comedy. This isn’t creepy nor funny and the lines Bruce spouts are horrible. “Hari Kari Larry”? Give me a break. Lame ass.

  • Teen-Idol

    You forgot about Tropic Thunder..

    I was really pumped for this movie but when I saw the trailer a couple months ago, I knew it was going to be a disaster.

    • Emy

      Did you see it (Tropic Thunder that is)?

      One of the funniest in a long time in my eyes (and I am a very tough critic, esp for comedies).

      I’ll the My Name is Bruce if it’s on tv and I have nothing else to do. Man with the Screaming Brain did not leave a good memory…

      • PelusaMG

        I have not laughed so hard in a film for a long time… The moment when Ben Stiller’s hands were lifted up by Robert Downey Jr. at the start (as he was making a dramatic and moving speech), and they were all shredded and stuff, was inspired slapstick!

    • Nomad

      Holy crap I totally forgot Thunder!! Was a great movie.

  • RIOT

    It’s funny I love Galaxy Quest and don’t mind the 3 Amigos either. I cant imagine this movie being THAT bad. Its can not be worse the Alien Apocalypse. Bruce does BAD movies and he is supposed to do BAD movies. All that being said I hope this isn’t that bad. Cause yes Alien Apocalypse was THAT bad. At least Screaming brian showed some of Bruce’s physical comedy. With seeing Ted Raimi on a rerun of CSI New york last night I realise hell had come to my house anyways.

  • Solrina

    I can pretty much get some type of enjoyment out of any movie Bruce is in. I sat through Alien Apocalypse and Man w/ Screaming Brain and didn’t even hate myself after. So I’ll check this one out for sure….but after the very unimpressive trailer and this review with much less expectations.

    And I LOVE Galaxy Quest. I would be embarrassed to think how many times I have actually watched that movie.

  • Gus Bjork

    Yesterday NPR had a piece about purposly trying to create a cult film. They had a brief interview with Bousman about Repo. To my mind it doesn’t work and that’s what this Bruce thing sounds like. Just being goofy for the sake of goofy…Nomad’s description of cartoon sound effects pretty much tells me what to expect from this without saying anything more.

  • bludgeoner

    I have to say I’m shocked – I thought this was going to be awesome. I have to see for my own eyes before I agree with any negativity directed at this movie.

    • Nomad

      I’ve never tried to like a movie more in my entire life.

      • bludgeoner

        I understand you gave it a completely fair shot and there is no unnecessary criticism – I just can’t believe it til I see it though! hehe

        • Nomad

          God speed then! hehe

  • Chainsaw

    Sorry, Nomad, but I’m absolutely disagreeing with you here. I thought it was a riot, much better than I thought it should have been. Honestly, I’ve been sold on the movie for a while and was waiting for it to let down, but it was a solid effort, and a great conceit. Plus, Bruce is a pretty good director.


  • PelusaMG

    “Galaxy Quest” was great, but Tim Allen grates!


  • MagusMaleficus

    “…but while Three Amigos and Galaxy Quest had some moments of hilarity among the ridiculous…”

    I can’t speak for the former, but Galaxy Quest was supposed to be ridiculous. That’s what it made it so funny–to me, at least.

    • Nomad

      I liked galaxy quest more than 3 amigos…sacrilege I know…but yes..i loved it. I think my wording just reads oddly to you.