[Lenny is] a travesty. The Lenny Bruce of this film is so prettified that he comes off as little more than a naughty David Steinberg. Hoffman plays him with that charming-cute Benjamin Braddock grin of his as if Bruce were just one of the boys. The Lenny Bruce of this film sermonizes after doing most of his bits on stage, so that in your heart you should know that he was a deep-humanist and loving-reformist…. It's this sort of sanctimoniousness, making Lenny Bruce out to be a goo-goo, that makes the film a runaway disaster.
What's missing from this portrait is the vibrance, the brilliantly zany improvisation, the wild pace, the jazz-like virtuosity in Bruce's performance, in his whole...
(The entire section is 410 words.)