Movie Review: Brüno (2009)

Yeah. Anyone thinking Brüno was going to be another innocent, simplistic and moronic adventure through the American heartland like Borat was, is in for a rude awakening. Sure, Sacha Baron Cohen pokes major fun at the idiosyncrasies of “regular” Americans but he does it with a much more perverse and provocative attitude than ever before. Those easily offended need not apply.

The setup this time around is Sacha Baron Cohen takes on the persona of Brüno, a maddeningly flamboyant gay Austrian fashion reporter, who, upon getting fired from the European TV show Funkyzeit (due to a costume failure at a runway show), sets out to America to stake his claim as a celebrity. In tow is Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten), his loyal man servant. In his path are plenty of unsuspecting people that have no idea what they’re in for.

What Brüno finds during his quest for fame is it is harder to achieve than it seems — perplexing since the American culture now hungers for pathetic celebrity role models. His television show pilot with Mexicans standing in as furniture and dancing dicks isn’t met with much enthusiasm even though he manages to get Paula Abdul and La Toya Jackson on as guests (the La Toya scene has since been removed due to the untimely death of her brother, Michael). His appearance on a talk show with an adopted African baby doesn’t go over particularly well either — especially after the all black audience finds out the child was gotten via a trade for an iPod and sees pictures of the kid crucified like Jesus.

His quest for all things gay and not so gay don’t go so well either. In one scene in Brüno, he finds himself getting “cured” of his homosexuality by two Alabaman ministers. In another, he spends an uncomfortable evening with some good ‘ole Southern boys around a campfire (it’s the good ‘ole boys who are uncomfortable, by the way). In yet another, he whips up some wrestling spectators into an anti-gay fervor (reminded me of his similar stunt in getting Arizona bar patrons to sing along to his “Throw the Jew Down the Well” song).

Ultimately, all his quests lead for some big time laughs either at his extravagance or at the idiocy of those he’s exposing. It never ceases to amaze me that people fall into the trap set by the guerrilla tactics employed. Especially when that someone is someone like Ron Paul, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. Paul finds himself in a peculiar situation staged by Brüno and upon figuring it out loses sight of the joke played on him. Needless to say, he’ll have some apologies to make in the near future.

In all honesty, I’m not sure which I applaud more: The brazenness Sacha Baron Cohen exhibits while going for the laugh (in many scenarios, he undoubtedly puts himself in danger) or the fact that he manages to show just how shallow our culture has become without pointing a finger at us telling us just how shallow our culture has become.

Simply put, the character Brüno is to film like Howard Stern was to radio. Love him or hate him, you’re transfixed to see (or hear in Howard’s case) what outrageous thing he’ll do next. And for the entire 83 minute running time of Brüno, the outrageousness goes off the charts. And for the entire 83 minute running time, I can’t recount a single moment in which I wasn’t thoroughly entertained. The only way the movie could have been better was if the working title of “Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt” was used.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
5 Star Rating: Fantastic


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Brüno (2009)' have 9 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 12, 2009 @ 6:58 am Scot We.

    Saw this last night and will be seeing it again today. Hands down Bruno is the funniest movie of the century. I nearly pissed myself 70 times from laughing so hard. You must see it!

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    July 16, 2009 @ 9:21 pm Thomas Greene

    I can’t disagree with the reviewer more. Bruno is just a lame excuse for Sacha Baron Cohen to wag his dick on camera. There is absolutely nothing funny about nor is there any redeeming value to this movie.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 16, 2009 @ 10:54 pm Happie Foot

    I did not watch Bruno but i will try to watch if i have time. According to your review it is a good movie. I am excited to have a free time now. LoL!

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 11, 2009 @ 3:31 am SimonD

    I really love watching movies of this kind. I will surely watch this one! Thank you for the post.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    September 28, 2009 @ 10:23 pm santiago benites

    Sorry, but I’ll have to disagree with you on this one. Why? Because I watched Da Ali G Show. I’ve seen it all before. Years ago. This was just the same old Shtick, and I got really bored, and couldn’t even watch the entire movie. I love Sascha Baron Cohen. He’s a very funny man. But this is just Borat, but now he’s a flaming gay guy from Austria, but doing basically the same old thing as always. Besides, Da Ali G Show was a million times better than this. It was fresh,a nd not so over contrived. Yawn. Zzzzzz.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 17, 2010 @ 7:10 am ohne Schufa

    Borat was fun but Brüno was too much for me. It looked like Sascha Baron Cohen can only achieve jokes by exaggerate each situation. On the other side this is a film which you should not take full :-)

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 10, 2010 @ 2:36 pm Ron Thompson

    I didn’t see either Borat or Bruno but the commercials for both did look very funny. I think comedy movies today are leaning more toward the silly and less thought sort of humor that just lets people sit back and laugh.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 21, 2012 @ 1:08 am youqiudi

    I think movies today are leaning more toward the silly and less thought sort of humor.

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 1, 2012 @ 2:16 am keyan hong

    I am a movie fun. I like all funny and exciting film. I am looking foward more.

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