Sacha Baron Cohen is back with a character and movie that will have you choking in disbelief at its audacity, nerve, and balls (literally). Brüno is destined to be one the most lewd, crude and un-politically correct movies ever seen… Comedy f***ing genius.
Brüno (Cohen) starts off in Europe, where our gay Austrian model presents an über classy fashion and entertainment show – ‘Funkyzeit mit Brüno’ or Funkytime with Brüno. Regular features here include S&M fashion, inordinate body-popping, and a ‘hot or not’ segment where he looks at the most fashionable STD of the week. We also get a rare insight into his personal life, where his nutritionists’ main advice seems to involve two fingers and a bucket. Initially at least, things seem to be rosy with his Latino pygmy lover too. We get an unforgettable introduction to him involving champagne, a cross trainer and a dildo.
Brüno sees himself as a real style icon and hits Milan Fashion Week’s press junket armed with a microphone and his new outfit made entirely of Velcro. Cue more silly questions with fashionista’s backstage, and one little stunt whichs sees him disrupting a major fashion show. He gets arrested, and claims ‘..the second greatest Austrian in history got arrested for his genius..’ or something to that effect.
Subsequently blacklisted, Brüno cant get into any fashion shows despite his pleas to security staff: “remember, you’ve been screwing me for 9 months”, which get ever more angry as his efforts prove futile: “you tried to make my face pregnant..”. He gets sacked from his show and decides to go to the US to become a ‘Superstar’ with his assistant Lutz. His new show pilot sees more inanity, including using Mexican workmen as furniture; stalking Harrison Ford; and suggesting Jamie-Lynn Spears gets an abortion, as her ultrasound is ugly.
In his attempts for notoriety he tries other tactics, such as trying to create a sex tape with 74 year old politician Ron Paul. When this fails he looks for a ‘world problem’ to tackle, after much deliberation he selects the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Then follow some very tense moments in interviews with a former Mossad agent, Palestinian officials, and the leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a recognized terrorist organisation. He first insults the terrorists’ hair, and then suggests ‘King Osama’ looks like a dirty wizard or a homeless version of Santa Claus. After his translator reluctantly relays the message, Brüno is ordered to leave straight away or be killed.
I think you get the message…
Brüno charts a very similar path to Borat in which our central protagonist seeks answers and / or infamy in yet unchartered waters, and through his crazy antics and interviews succeeds in both making utter fools of his subjects, whilst highlighting the flaws in society. Case in point, when interviewing parents for a baby photoshoot, he asks questions such as: Are you happy to have your baby photographed around dangerous animals / big construction machinery; Are you okay to have your child in a fast moving car without seatbelts? To which they all incredulously agree. I dont think it’s about how Americans are stupid, but moreso what people will do for fame or money, or how a rolling camera makes you agree to almost anything… Well, maybe not.
You do get a sense of seen it all before in certain moments, with parallels to its predecessor. But it certainly raises the bar in terms of shock value and gross out scenes, including a full 30 second acrobatic montage by Cohen’s genitalia, uncensored. Larry Charles really cranks it up this time.
But don’t let this put you off, this is comedy gold with some laugh out loud set pieces including: Adopting a black baby (named O.J.) who he acquires in Africa by ‘swapping him’ for an iPod; Bruno trying to become straight by attending a swingers party; gorging on high-carb junk food to commit “carbicide”; traipsing across town gagged and entwined in bondage gear after a one-night stand with Lutz; hunting with rednecks, and the icing on the cake – a simulated kiss with Milli (from Milli Vanilli) during a psychic session, which needs to be seen to be believed.
By any means the movie and especially the final act will throw you for six, quite simply – it’s hilarious. The narrative wasn’t as simple as Borat’s journey, but then nor is the character. If you’re even remotely homophobic, this movie isn’t for you. This movie is insane, crazy, gob-smackingly raw.. but lots of fun.
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