Film Review - Bruno
Starring - Sacha Baron Cohen, Paula Abdul, Ron Paul | Directed by Larry Charles | Universal DVD WS R 82min 2009
Review By Xmortis
Bruno is a huge name in German TV and the host of Funky Zeit, a show that makes or breaks top designers. Bruno falls from grace when he screws up a huge fashion show and even gets fired from his show! He leaves his homeland and heads to Los Angeles to become a celebrity. Bruno starts his quest by meeting with an agent and is totally a reject. He manages to get a small role as an extra on Medium but can't even get it right! He then moves on to interviewing pop star Paula Abdul and again screws it up when he uses Latino gardeners as his furniture. Soon he decides to push a TV gossip show to the studio, but it's nothing more than trash with Bruno dancing around and pissing off A-list stars. So of course the network passes on his show. His next plan is to try to do a sex tape with politician Ron Paul and it goes very badly. He seeks out advice from the spirit of Millie (From Millie Vanilli) who tells him to do something that will help mankind. So Bruno travels to the Middle East and tries to get peace treaties signed by feuding countries. When that doesn't work, he tries to get himself kidnapped by Ayman Abu Aita, a terrorist group leader who he pisses off and is run out of the country. On his way home he trades a U2 iPod for an African baby who he enters in a beauty pageant that turns into a crude photo shoot that is crude and rude. Parents of other babies go along with his over the top idea, which ends with him showing the photos on a TV talk show! The crowd turns on Bruno and his baby (who he named OJ). OJ is taken away by social services. Bruno is devastated by the lose of his "baby" and sleeps with his helper Lutz whom he gets bound to. They show up to an Anti-Gay protest, and are finally freed by the cops. Bruno and Lutz have a falling out, and Bruno realizes he is broke and must live on the streets. There he realizes that he must become straight to become a star. He goes to an Alabama church for help to become straight. Soon Bruno is learning self defense against gays, going into the national guard, going hunting with rednecks and pushing them to a breaking point, hitting a swingers party and finally gets a mix martial arts event together where he and Lutz fight in a cage only to make out and have sex causing a riot with the drunk redneck crowd. In the end he gets back together with Lutz, gets OJ back and records a charity album with Bono of U2, Sting. Slash, Snoop Dog and Elton John.
Bruno is one of those films that skirts the line between being completely over the top and being so smart that you can't help but laugh at how silly the world is. The film really plays up on ignorant people's fears of homosexuals and how they judge people who are different. However, the one downside is that at times he pushes these people with over the top stereotypical "gay" behavior that would make most people act out with anger and defeats the message. He pushes people by being so in your face that it almost seems baited in his attempt to get peoples buttons pushed. The way he also shows the obsession of people wanting to be famous and all the wild things they will do to get famous will make you think twice about wanting a career like this. The set up on Paula Abdul is also funny but also a little ridiculous and stupid with the mistreatment of Latin Americans. The story is mostly focused on the relationship between Bruno and Lutz and how Bruno's own self love made him look past his true love. While it's a fun plot, it's also very similar to Borat's. Sacha Baron Cohen does have some balls to do some of the stuff he does in this film like provoking a real life terrorist and freaking out hunters who clearly are homophobes. The film is packed with tons of nudity from both male and female, and all is used in a comedic fashion. It's super surprising that it only got an R rating with this much nudity. It's really strange how they are able to get real people on camera doing real things that almost seem like scripted segments. This is a good shocking comedy, but I think it lacks the charm of his other feature, Borat.
The DVD has some great extras like a Go Behind The Camera look at how they pulled off some of the films outrageous stunts, deleted scenes, alternate scenes, extended scenes and trailers. These are all worth a watch, and it's cool seeing other celebrities like Baseball Legend Pete Rose and La Toya Jackson.
While I found this an entertaining watch, I can't say that this film is for everyone. It's funny in spots and disturbing in others. I enjoyed the watch but am not sure if you will.