Excerpt: While considering ways to approach a review of Brüno , the quite funny if membrane-thin new comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen, I first lamented not having written about Borat in 2006. Then it would be easy: Just lift the copy into a new document, change some names and locations, do a find-and-replace with the words "Kazakh" and "gay," riff on homophobia for a bit, and end it. Done. And why not?
Excerpt: "Oscar® nominee and Golden Globe® winner Sacha Baron Cohen ('Borat,' 'Da Ali G Show' and 'Talladega Nights') brings you the comedy that has started more conversations, generated more controversy and dared to go further than ever before!
Excerpt: For some comedians overpopularity is a real curse. The brilliance of Dave Chapelle was nearly ruined by college kids who couldn’t stop yelling “I’m Rick James Bitch, ” or people who were laughing for all the wrong reasons. Sacha Baron Cohen was nearly ruined for me in the same way with far too many “Borat” (2006) imitations. No I will not give you a high five.
Excerpt: It is easy to forgive Bruno for recycling the limited plot of Borat . Sacha Baron Cohen stars as a foreigner who ends up coming to the US with an assistant, whom he eventually breaks up with, before reuniting in the end. Surely most people who are interested in Bruno have seen Borat , so that is hardly a spoiler. Of course, the spoiler is meaningless because what limited narrative carries the film is purely to push the character of Bruno from one place to the next.
Excerpt: Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street ) is a gay Austrian television fashion show host who desperately craves fame. In order to achieve international stardom, he determines to travel to Los Angeles and…well, he'll figure it out as he goes along. Whether it's doing celebrity interviews, trying to make a sex tape with Ron Paul, adopting an African child, or hosting a pro wrestling match, Bruno will do what it takes to ensure that everyone...
Conclusion: So, as Brüno asked in his proposed talk show: "keep it, or abort it?" That's for you to decide. 'Brüno' isn't for everyone, be they fans of the show or virgins to the character. The film doesn't degrade homosexuals in any way (quite the opposite, in fact, rooting out homophobia), and is only likely to truly offend those who have issues with gays. While the Blu-ray is far from demo material, one couldn't honestly expect that.
Conclusion: Brüno is a bizarre blend of uncomfortable encounters, unsettling comedy, and disturbing reactions. While it's extremely funny at times, it lacks heart and vision; while I caught myself laughing far more often than I care to admit, I was left feeling empty and dissatisfied. Thankfully, Universal's Blu-ray release is a bit more fulfilling.