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Friday, July 10, 2009

Bruno (***1/2)


Vassup! Bruno is, without question, going to be the funniest, most offensive movie of 2009. By no means should Bruno have avoided the NC-17 rating, but Borat was so wildly popular and made so much money, it allowed Bruno, cocked and locked, to unload all over mainstream movie theaters. If Bruno falls a bit short of the brilliance of Borat, it's inevitable. Borat shocked the world in 2006, not just because it was utterly hilarious, but also because it was a really good movie. Bruno, "Austria's most famous man since Hitler," follows the same Borat formula of coming to America and upending every situation he encounters, with a loyal sidekick at his side who leaves him part of the way through. The humor in Borat was more diverse, taking aim at the Jews, the chocolate faces, and the gypsies. Bruno hits all those notes too but the movie mainly has one sort of joke on its mind: Gay. Gay gay gay. Borat is also a more lovable character overall. It was much easier to empathize with Borat's quest to have a liquid explosion inside Pamela Anderson's vagine than with Bruno's desire to do anything to become the most famous gay Austrian since Schwarzenegger. Bruno ups the raunch quotient and breaks the needle on the meter. Bruno goes much farther than Borat did, be it the finale spectacle in the octagon cage, showing a focus group his TV pilot, or giving the ghost of Milli from Milli Vinilli a blowjob in front of a psychic. Sacha Baron Cohen continues to be the most daring and brilliant - what is he? A comedian? A performance comic artist? - today. He shouldn't even be alive; it's mind-boggling he wasn't killed in the Middle East trying to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with his peace song. Bruno ist very vassup!