Brenaissance No More: Brendan Fraser Under Fire For His Divisive Performance

Brenaissance No More: Brendan Fraser Under Fire For His Divisive Performance
Image credit: Legion-Media

Thought Brendan Fraser is now a fan favorite? Quite the opposite.


  • Brendan Fraser is criticized for his performance in Killers of the Flower Moon, which many viewers consider over-the-top.
  • Although the actor's performance is expressive, it is exactly what his character needed to be.

In the early 2000s, Brendan Fraser was at the height of his fame, starring in several major adventure and action film franchises. Audiences knew the 30-year-old actor from his roles in George of the Jungle and The Mummy.

However, with the beginning of the new decade, in the 2010s, the actor, for reasons unknown at the time, stopped acting in big movies for many years due to health issues, a painful divorce and sexual abuse, and his popularity declined sharply.

That all changed in 2022, when Darren Aronofsky's The Whale, starring Fraser, premiered. The film, which earned the actor the first Oscar nomination and statuette of his career, marked his return to the film industry.

Fraser Criticized for Performing in Killers of the Flower Moon

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However, the praise did not last long – Brendan Fraser's role in Martin Scorsese 's new flick, Killers of the Flower Moon, drew sharp criticism. In a courtroom scene that confused some viewers, Fraser's character loudly and expressively announces that he is one of the characters' lawyers. Not everyone liked his loud acting – viewers called the actor's performance caricature and over-the-top one.

There was so much criticism that Apple Films' official X account posted an excerpt from the book by David Grann on which the film is based, in which the lines spoken by Fraser's character, lawyer W. S. Hamilton, end with an exclamation point, proving that the actor's expressive performance was justified.

Martin Scorsese himself came out in support of the actor. In an interview, he admitted that he had admired Fraser for many years:

“We thought he'd be great for the lawyer and I admired his work over the years. […] Really for us, when we heard that he brought the whole scene down on Leo it was perfect. And had that girth, he's big in the frame at that time. He's a wonderful actor, and he was just great to work with.”

Fraser’s Acting Is Divisive

Let's face it, if Fraser hadn't made a triumphant return to the big screen a year ago and captured the attention of absolutely everyone, there wouldn't have been so many complaints about his literally several-minute performance in Scorsese's three-hour movie.

While many fans claim that Fraser's performance was so bad that it ruined the whole vibe of the movie, another group of viewers have the opposite opinion.

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Those who liked Fraser's acting argue that he played the character exactly as he needed to – in those days, lawyers were often theatrical and eccentric, and what’s more, Hamilton also had to cause a ruckus in the courtroom in order to postpone the hearing.

The 2000s generation hardly associates Brendan Fraser with dramatic roles, Oscar-winning biopics and other serious cinema. The fact is that the actor's charm has mostly landed him the parts of narrow-minded comedic characters. If you look at the most popular movies with Fraser, you get the feeling that at some point he got stuck in one role.

However, the actor has managed to prove that he is capable of dramatic roles, and despite the criticism, it cannot be denied that the so-called Brenaissance is one of the most striking events in the world of cinema in recent years.

Sources: Apple Films on X, LADBible