By Adam Weeks
Ah, where to start with “Bruno”….. I was fairly “meh” towards seeing it to be completely honest – out of the three main characters on Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Da Ali G Show”, the flamboyant Austrian fashionista was my least favorite behind Borat & Ali G himself, mainly because it always felt like a looootttt of work to hammer the joke home, compared to the relatively smooth flow of the interviews or bits with the other main characters.
Then when the trailer hit for this one hit…… I was still pretty underwhelmed – it seemed like a blatant rehash of the ground already mined for “Borat”, a few chuckles definitely, but still a feeling of “this is going to be more of the same”.
So, after seeing it tonight, I can say with 100% confidence that (dun dun da!) I was pretty much dead on with my estimation. Have no doubts, there are a lot of laughs to be had in “Bruno”, and some people will no doubt find it just as laugh out loud funny as “Borat” – but that wasn’t the case for me, because… well, because I kind of feel like I’ve already seen this before, to the point where you tend to think that if there was any possibility of getting away with doing another “Borat” flick, they would have done it, and it wouldn’t have affected 75% of the plot of “Bruno”….
The basic concept behind the film is that Bruno is a top TV style guru, who after getting fired from his job, decides to become a celebrity in America – the very loose concept is strung together by a bunch of interviews with some very well known people, and some everyday guys & girls – to give away any of the moments that haven’t already been spoiled rotten from the Trailer (which unfortunately covers a lot of the biggest laughs the film has to offer) would be very wrong of me, but I will say that my favorite moment of the movie involves a very quick two word cameo from a famously reclusive star – as well as some very enjoyable moments where Cohen very nearly breaks character – some scenes at a Swingers party in particular makes it seem like he was very close to losing it on more than one occasion.
Again – I don’t want to knock the film too much, because there are some incredibly funny moments in it – most often at the expense of some incredibly stupid & narrow minded people (which is awesome) – but ultimately this does feel like a sequel / remake in everything but name to “Borat” – lots of laughs, and a lot of uncomfortable moments aside, the story hits almost exactly the same marks at as it’s predecessor. That all being said, I’ve got no problems recommending this to fans of Cohen’s previous work – and it will be an absolute monster at the box office (you’d be silly to bet against it come opening weekend), but I think when people look back on the best comedy of 2009, it’ll likely be a certain other “R” rated monster hit that takes the crown.