Review No. 513
Über-bad, how müch worse can yoü get?
DIRECTED BY LARRY CHARLES. PRODUCED BY SACHA BARON COHEN, JAY ROACH, DAN MAZER, AND JONAH HILL. SCREENPLAY BY BARON COHEN, MAZER, ANTHONY HINES, AND JEFF SCHAFFER. STORY BY BARON COHEN, HINES, MAZER, AND PETER BAYNHAM. STARRING BARON COHEN (BRÜNO). DISTRIBUTED BY UNIVERSAL PICTURES ON JULY 10, 2009. PRODUCED IN ENGLISH AND GERMAN BY THE UNITED KINGDOM. RUNS 1 HOUR, 21 MINUTES. INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES, DUE TO NUDITY, PROFANITY, AND STRONG SEXUAL CONTENT.
BRÜNO WAS WATCHED ON JULY 2, 2013.
“I don’t know if I’m brave.” –Sacha Baron Cohen
I’ve always been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen. I’ve appreciated his humorous aptitude in taking on countless ethnicities, even in small roles such as Talladega Nights, or the Simpsons episode “The Greatest Story Ever D’Ohed.” But that aptitude stops at Brüno, where Baron Cohen plays a gay Austrian trying to become “über-famous” in the fashion industry.
Brüno does well as a mockumentary. I’ll give it that, because it doesn’t need (or have) pacing or story, just a bunch of sketches about fashion that are supposed to (and do) seem like true events. But Baron Cohen doesn’t even sound Austrian. He sounds freaking French. And when the movie fails to entertain, you fall upon the question, about whether he’s playing a homosexual man for laughs, or just for the sake of being insensitive.
Brüno organizes itself like one elongated gay joke, which does it no service whatsoever. It plays out like a reality TV show, which is ironically one of Brüno’s tried methods in getting “über-famous.” The fact is ironic, but not necessarily good, because this is coming from someone who can’t stand reality TV. The movie starts out funny as hell. Like most other Baron Cohen movies, he seems like a wizard in his obsession with the need to offend, because we don’t feel offended, we feel humored.
Then it’s just a long trip downhill. The film carries along the lines of the same damn joke, and it simultaneously runs out of ideas. By the time Brüno started going from doctor to doctor in order to become a straight man, I was done. Finished, and so was my laughter. Okay, I may have let out a nervous chuckle every now and then. But when I feel it’s my duty to laugh, it’s not because I’m watching a real comedy. It’s because I’m watching a movie that thinks it’s a comedy, but doesn’t know what the hell comedy is. It’s not just going raunchy to the point of disturbing.
STAY TUNED FOR MY “DJANGO UNCHAINED” REVIEW @ 4:30