Brüno (2009)

Comedy
Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, Clifford Bañagale, Chibundu Orukwowu
Flamboyant Austrian fashionista Brüno takes his show to America.
Crude and offensive, but with ample cultural insights and gut-busting laughs, Bruno is another outlandish and entertaining mockumentary from Sacha Baron Cohen.
  • Universal Pictures Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 10 Jul 2009 Released:
  • 17 Nov 2009 DVD Release:
  • $60.0M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Outrageous fun9/10
I was lucky enough to win tickets to the premiere and spent the entire movie alternating between HUGE belly laughs and covering my eyes in disbelief. If you didn't like Borat, you are unlikely to enjoy this one either as there is a lot of nudity (including one memorable shot of a talking.... body part), profanity and taking the mickey out of: a) rednecks b) fashionistas c) F-list celebrities (and a few A-listers too; remember, children are not an accessory. Unless they're cute. Or match your outfit.) d) terrorists (yes, really, don't know how Sasha got out of that one alive)

I loved the movie and although some of the scenes worked better than others, for sheer inventiveness, audacity and brilliant ad-lib comedy, Baron Cohen remains at the top of his game.
Watch the trailers, then stay at home1/10
I watched the trailers and thought they were incredibly funny. But packed into those few minutes you will find all the best scenes from the film, and there's very little worth watching in the remainder.

So yes, the film is shocking and pushes the boundaries (again) quite a bit further. And yes, it ridicules our society's obsession with celebrity status. But that in itself isn't enough to make it a good film. Bad acting and a terrible story line remain bad acting and a terrible storyline, even if it has been done on purpose (of which I am not even certain). In any case, it gives the film the doubtful qualities of a cheap 70s porn film.

So what about the humour? Baron-Cohen has always looked for comedy in breaking the boundaries of social convention, and with Ali G and Borat that was often to great comic effect. But not so much in Bruno: cheap shock effect and trying to heap even more embarrassment on his victims appear to have been the main recipes of the film. It doesn't even work anymore: he's now so ridiculous that everyone storms out within the first minute. Porn scenes with a pygmy flight attendant, overacted dancing, a swinging penis (didn't we see that in EuroTrash yeeeears ago?), lowering your trousers in front of a US presidential candidate... it may be funny to some, to me it just stinks.

By the time it came to scenes that *could* have been funny (like the day-time television talk show) - I had properly tuned out, and much of its potential fun was lost on me.

My advice: watch the trailers, laugh your head off, then just be happy with the idea of a brilliant film that could have been, but wasn't made. If you do go, be prepared for disappointment, lots of cringing and the hohoho-type nervous laughter of embarrassment.
For those asking how the shock effect of 'Borat' could be topped...8/10
Bruno is a gay Austrian fashion reporter impersonated by the man that notoriously starred as Borat in... Borat.

(For those that have seen Borat: you probably know what to expect. If you did not like Borat for the painfully explicit content, stay away from Bruno. If you almost died of laughter during a certain hotel scene in Borat, go see Bruno immediately and prepare for almost certain death.)

Obviously, having made Borat, the producers of Bruno had a hard time to repeat the surprise effect. It should therefore not come as a surprise that the movie contains substantially less confrontations between the main character and innocent (famous) bystanders. Still, confrontations with a number of people, among which a few famous ones, seem sincere, and work on multiple levels, as in Borat. Others are clearly scripted, but not less funny for that (watch the ending credits for an example).

In general, compared to Borat, Bruno focuses more on a) effectively shocking it's viewers with the (sexual) misconduct of the main character and b) stunts of this main character in front of a large audience. Essentially, this time the shock effect is moved from the 'random' people that appear in the movie, to the audience looking at the movie.

For many, it will definitely be more shocking than Borat, given the shamelessly explicit content that exploits every possibility for jokes concerning men making out. For others, the never-ending provoked racism of Borat will have a longer-lasting impact.

All I know is that I laughed a lot during this movie. It will once again lead to lots of controversy and imitation at thousands of workplaces around the globe. Maybe it is therefore best if you know what it is about.

But be warned. If you are easily offended, you will be offended. Majorly.
I had prepared myself for this film...8/10
I expected there to be a high level of gay and crude sexual jokes in this latest Sacha Baron Cohen adventure. Then the movie took it 2 steps further than anything I had prepared myself for.

The result; a lot of uneasy moments, a lot of uncontrollable laughing, and some putting my hands over my face in disbelief or disgust. The humour in the film is clearly that of in-your-face slapstick, however given the extremes the film goes to, it's all relatively entertaining. Like Borat, all of the genuine laughs are in everyday peoples reactions, rather than the poorly structured story or scripted scenes.

That said, it was a challenge of how much one could handle, and I wouldn't have minded if they had left out a particular full frontal shot of the male anatomy spinning around (an image that will stay with me for some time and probably haunt my dreams). It's not a movie I could really get 'comfortable' with watching, seeing all hell unravel in a variety of situations one after another with very little in the way of breaks, but time did go by relatively quickly, which helps given the intensity of the scenes.

It's not a film for the faint of heart, and definitely has more potential to offend than Borat ever did, though for the more open minded among us who aren't so easily offended, you may find some enjoyment in this film. Humanities finest moments certainly aren't on display here. Go see it with a few mates or drinking buddies and have fun, though you may exit the cinema a little more disturbed than when you went in.
Underwhelming7/10
I just saw it and I was a bit let down. I am gay, I love Cohen, and was ready to laugh. But the problem was he didn't expose any under-the-surface bigotry like he did in Borat. He overdid his "gayness" to such a violent extreme that he forced reactions out of people, some of whom are probably plenty openminded. You ended feeling sorry for these people.

Especially Ron Paul, who out of all the politicians Cohen could have chosen, deserved it the least. He's no champion of gay rights, but he is certainly not an enemy either and he reacted like any normal person would in that nightmarish situation. There were also some genuine bigots in the film, but Cohen goes to such an extreme to provoke them, by the time it gets to that point, who cares?

There were funny moments, of course, Cohen is a funny man, but this movie lacks the bite Borat had. This was just an exercise in bad taste (which is fine, if that's what you're looking for).