Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen's much anticipated follow up to the very nice Borat, hit DVD and Blu-ray this past week, so I figured I'd give it a review.
For anyone who doesn't know already, Brüno centers around an Austrian fashionista named (gasp) Brüno. And from this point forward, I'm going to stop using the umlaut because it's annoying. Anyway, Bruno screws up real bad at a European fashion exposé and he falls from the heights of fame. Thus he comes to the United States to become famous and escape his blacklisting in Europe.Squandered Chances
The rest of the movie is pretty much Cohen's character trying to become famous. They include absurdities like creating a television show that ends in graphic male nudity, a sex tape with Ron Paul, and attempting crazy interviews with celebrities.
As funny as this may sound, most of the movie falls flat when it comes to laughs. Unlike Borat, where scenes would go on for at times ten minutes, Bruno seems littered with very short scenes. They each serve a purpose (something crazy happens, normal and unsuspecting people react) and the movie cuts to the next scene.
The problem is that this gets very old very quickly. The charm of Borat is that Cohen has to think on his feet and react to the totally expectable shock of the unsuspecting. With Bruno, he says something crazy, people react, next scene, he does something crazy, people react, next scene, he asks something crazy, people react, next scene. Every scene seems much too scripted. Personally, I don't believe that the best scene in Bruno is as funny as the worst (or least best) in Borat.
Not Very Nice (No High Five)
Another big problem with the movie is that the title character does not seem to have any nuance to him. Borat would use the same lines once in a while, high five people, refer to Gypsies, et cetera, to the point where you could see a "personality" inside the character. Bruno has no personality it seems, and the entire film you are aware that you're watching Sacha Baron Cohen pretend to be someone.Unfortunately, suspension of disbelief is not always there, and something happens that you DO NOT want to happen in a film like this... you sometimes feel sorry for the people being fooled.
It's Not All Bad
Don't get me wrong, though, there are some laughs to be had. The "photos" Bruno took with his "son" are humorous to watch, as well as some of the scene where he goes hunting and camping.
But the hilarity does not last. Much too much is scatter-shot. Most of the humor seems not to be supposed to be, well, funny. Instead, it seems like Cohen is just trying to freak people out the whole movie. While this is all well and good sometimes, it desperately needs variance or it becomes quite boring quite quickly.
The Final Verdict
All in all, Bruno is not a bad film to watch and it does garner some hard-earned laughs. The problem it faces is the same formula for almost every scene with a paper thin character. Do not watch this film thinking you will see the equivalent of a new Borat because you will be disappointed.
In the end, I give it a disappointing 5.5 out of 10
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