Brüno Directed by: Larry Charles Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten Running Time: 1 hr 25 mins Rating: R Release Date: July 10, 2009
Plot: Gay Austrian fashionista Brüno has a talk show that gets canceled, so he decides to head to Hollywood to become famous. But he soon realizes it's much more difficult than he originally thought.
Who’s It For? You've got to have an open mind although it doesn't push the homophobic boundaries as much as I thought. You will squirm if you have troubles watching others squirm. And hopefully it goes without saying, but leave the kids at home.
Expectations: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is one of my favorite comedies of the last decade. Those are big shoes to fill.
Actors: Sacha Baron Cohen as Brüno: Cohen's passion is unmatched. He throws himself into situations for the hope of making people laugh and is probably the most daring actor out there right now. The moments of drama and scripted drama doesn't hold nearly as much humor or interest for me as the times he's talking to all the real people. And while his interviews with Paula Abdul and Ron Paul are interestings, they are nothing compared to Brüno talking with parents of child actors or a gay converter. Score: 8
Gustaf Hammarsten as Lutz: Bruno will be compared to Borat, that's life. And therefore the sidekick Lutz makes me think of the sidekick Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian). Lutz just misses the mark for me. There isn't any real comedy generated between the two. He's really just a part of two of the funny moments and I feel like many others could have been in that role. Score: 5
Talking: You'll be able to get through Brüno's accent while understanding the majority. Here, the folks in the South shine once again in a Cohen film. When Brüno talks with hunters, gay converters and swingers you die laughing with their discomfort and belief. Score: 8
Sights: Did I need to see all of that? No. But it goes without saying that you take the good, you take the bad, you take the both and there you have the many different sides of Brüno. Penis? Check. Homoerotic sex positions? Many. A swingers party? Yup. Score: 7
Sounds: "Dove of Peace" will be the song that's talked about. Brüno sings it to some Middle East enemies, but then it gets a big version with Bono, Snoop Dogg, Elton John, Chris Martin (of Coldplay), Slash and Sting. Score: 6
Best Scene: Brüno in the Army just makes sense. Plus, it feels like the Army guys are kind of in on the joke, like they are willing to play along with this character. It's the only reason I can imagine they didn't kick his arse.
Ending: It's quick. Kind of shocking that it's over so quickly. It really makes you realize that the movie doesn't have much of a point. This is where "Dove of Peace" makes its mark with all the famous singers.
Questions: Why is this missing Michael Jackson scene? Will it make it to the DVD extras? Besides the baby on the top of the moped, what else is special effects or fake?
Rewatchability: There are easily moments that I can't wait to see again or share with friends ... just like The Hangover.
It's not gay bashing, it's not pro-gay ... Brüno is just gay, but that's not the focus of the film. At the heart (I mean center, there really is no heart) it's a focus on the idiots/ignornants/oddities of American society. Borat feels like a story, Brüno comes off more as sketches, very funny sketches. It's like a rated-R Daily Show. It's always amazing that Cohen can find a terrorist who will talk, or a gay converter who hates women.
Final Score: 7/10