‘Brüno’ a Hilarious, Controversial and Vulgar Joyride – Movie Review

I remember when Borat came out; that was awesome. We hadn't seen anything like it before: an actor interviewing actual people out of nowhere and filming their reactions! Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer's screenplay even landed the mockumentary an Oscar nod in 2007 and it still remains one of the most quoted movies of the 21st Century. Now there's Brüno, another movie based off of Cohen's
multiple personas on Da Ali G Show. Unlike Borat, Brüno is a gay Austrian fashionista. In his self-titled movie, he's fired from his television show in Austria due to a wardrobe malfunction at a fashion show (count how many times they use the word fashion in the movie, it's fun). So he figures that he could make it in America as an even bigger star. "I want to be the biggest Austrian star since Hitler." So away we go, Brüno tries to get his own U.S TV show, similar to the one he previously had. But who cares about the plot? We got Sacha Baron Cohen wearing thongs in pretty much every scene, looking a guy in the eyes as he watches him have sex with a fat chick, fighting a martial arts instructor with three dildos and believe me, it gets worse. It's rude, vulgar, unnecessary and downright offensive. And it's pretty goddamn funny.

So the big question here is whether or not this tops Borat. Don't ask that question, man. The two movies are crafted out of the same material (Cohen starring and writing, Larry Charles directing) and both have the same goal of offending everyone that the hour and twenty-eight minutes runtime will allow. They're both funny, leave it at that! I'm sure that if you picked apart Brüno that you could find something wrong with it, or you could just laugh and go wherever the movie takes you. And it does take you on some pretty wacky trips. A swinger's club, a Jerry Springer/Maury Povich type talk show, the Middle East (which Brüno calls the "Middle Earth"). Picking on America's problems seems to be Larry Charles' strong suit, poking fun at our religious beliefs with Bill Maher in Religulous (which rocked) last fall and directing Borat in 2006 as well. And major film tres for Charles is no exception, this time proving that underneath everything, Americans are all just homophobic bastards.

Brüno is hilarious. It enters my funniest movies of 2009 list, joining The Hangover and Observe and Report. Larry Charles and Sacha Baron Cohen have created a whirlwind of controversy, so much that my cinema blocked off that certain theater to keep kids out by sitting outside for the entire thing. So the movie consists of penises talking and dumb runway models. We don't need to see that. And because of that, that's exactly why you need to. Mission accomplished, Mr. Cohen. Er, Brüno.

4/5 stars.

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