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Monday, July 13, 2009

Darkmatters review - Brüno

Brüno (18)

Dir. Larry Charles

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (at a raucous late night screening)

ONE WORD SUMMATION: Kugelsack-for-the-masses

2006 saw the excellent ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ blast a strong comedy shockwave across the world as Sasha Baron Cohen provoked middle America into showing their bigoted ugly faces to the camera. Now he’s back with Brüno – originally entitled ‘Bruno: 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’ and that title pretty much sums it up…

Brüno may have a weaker storyline than Borat, i.e. the overly camp Brüno (Cohen), a disgraced fashion TV presenter, goes to the USA to try and become a celebrity, but it overcompensate with levels of crudeness beyond what you’d usually expect of even an ’18 rated’ movie (although have just seen announcement that there will be a toned down 15 version also hitting screens).

If you’re at all squeamish about sexual imagery – we’re talking full close up male bits to camera, which are even hilariously animated to talk at one point - then you might want to look elsewhere for your laughs but if you’ve a very open mind or are looking to be challenged about people’s
responses to overt sexuality then you won’t find a funnier or more subversive big screen ‘outing’ this year.

Brüno closely follows the Borat formula of setting up deliberately incendiary situations such as a proposed peace negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians where the only thing they can agree on is that ‘humus is healthy’. Other highlights include a ‘can’t believe he’s doing this’ adoption of an African baby named OJ who he takes on black TV chat show and causes uproar, plus a climactic cage wrestling session where the term ‘man on man combat’ is put through a new definition much to the indignation and violent outrage of the beer fuelled redneck crowd.

Cohen certainly has balls in his kugelsack and he’s not shy about showing them – there is even a crazy scene of them being vacuumed at one point. But where Borat got away with lots of his racist outrageous world views due to his bumbling cultural ineptitude, Brüno often comes across
as being a less likeable and self indulgent glory hunter.

It is hard however to resist getting to witness a terrorist being asked to his face why his “King Osama looks kind of like a dirty wizard or a homeless Santa Claus?” or to wonder quite how far this self-confessed ‘hottest Austrian export since Hitler’ will go. The only way to find out is to take a date with Brüno, you might never be the same…

Darkmatters final rating of: öööööööö (8 – balls to the wall comedy goes OTT!!)

Darkmatters quick reference guide:

Action 7
Style 7
Babes 4
Comedy 8
Horror 6
Spiritual Enlightenment 3

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