Brüno (2009)

Good reviews are so 2009

Gay Austrian fashion reporter Brüno (Sacha Baron Cohen) is fired from his own television show, Funkyzeit mit Brüno (Funkytime with Brüno), after disrupting a Milan Fashion week catwalk, and his lover leaves him for another man. Accompanied by his assistant's assistant, Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten), he travels to the United States to become "the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler".

It's an utter shame when a comedy film actually boasts very little moments that can be considered funny, and Brüno is a film that sadly boasts that claim. The jokes are pretty much just a checklist of the obvious gay jokes, leaving nothing in the film to be subtle.

The main problem I have with this film is that it tries much too hard to be as controversial as Sacha Baron Cohen's much superior Borat, which was noted for it's heavy controversy. It tries to reenact the controversy in many ways, which include making Hitler jokes, referring to Mel Gibson as "da fuhrer" and making light of the Palestinian/Jerusalem conflicts, but none of these attempts work, and just manage to feel pretty forced.

It also tries to be as shocking as Borat was, so they try to follow up that film's naked man chase fight through a hotel by serving food to Paula Abdul off naked Mexican men and shows a video of his penis. Also, the ending feels pretty contrived, as it feels more like an excuse to showcase these stars rather than to satisfyingly wrap up the lead character's story. The story does feel too similar to Borat, character from another country comes to America for fame, has problems with romance, ends up changing who he is at one point and all while the public are unaware this is for a film.

Brüno liked holding something in his hands that could explode

I will give some praise to Baron Cohen for having the balls to go straight up to the homophobic protest groups whilst chained to his assistant and partially wearing a gimp suit. It was quite chucklesome to see the uncomfortable looks upon the peoples faces. I also found the scenes on the talk show to be actually quite funny and despite my thoughts on the quality of the film, Baron Cohen does play his role consistently well. Plus, Harrison Ford's cameo was a great moment.

Brüno is a comedy film that tries to be shocking and controversial like it's predecessor, but ultimately fails on all points. If you go into this film expecting Borat, you will get something like that, just not as good in quality.


Aditya Gokhale said…
Definitely skipworthy for me!
Comedies like these don't appeal to me much anyway!

Great review.
Myerla said…
Borat is better. I watched this, and ended up turning it off half way through. I was just sooo bored.

Nice review.
Jeff SC said…
This movie really doesn't interest me. I really enjoyed Borat, but this does just look like Borat only gay. Good review, my expectations haven't changed.
James Rodrigues said…
Borat is infinitely better, I totally understand why you turned off.
James Rodrigues said…
That is pretty much how I would describe it. Borat, only gay, and less funny.
James Rodrigues said…
Fair enough, this isn't even worth watching as a comedy overall.
Anonymous said…
Nice work, Rodders. I kind of thought that, after Borat, Cohen would have a tough time doing any sort of follow-up. Sounds like he will now be consigned to bit-part supporting roles.

The Grouch
James Rodrigues said…
Cheers, your royal Grouchiness. I would say he's consigned to trying to be as controversial as he truly can, as his next film, The Dictator, is pretty much inspired upon Gadaffi. I just predict after that film, he'll try a comedy based upon Nelson Mandella.
Ruth said…
Bruno never really captured my interest. I've always had low expectations for when I (finally) get to see it. Good review! :)
James Rodrigues said…
Thanks. I only was interested in this film because of how much I loved Borat.