Sacha Baron Cohen is a brave man.
In the guise of Euro fashionista Brüno, he’s clearly prepared to risk life and limb in the pursuit of edgy comedy – his near-lynching at the hands of angry Israeli locals and a pumped-up cage-fighting audience is testament to that… Does he succeed? Well yes, mostly.
Playing like Borat’s cruder, dildo-obsessed younger cousin, Brüno is bold and consistently belly-laugh hilarious. And yet, without the communal guffaws of a shell-shocked cinema audience, you can’t help focusing on its flaws.
The film’s flimsy plot (Brüno travels across the US and beyond on a quest to become an international celeb) doesn’t quite manage to string its skits together into a satisfying whole.
And then there’s Brüno himself – where Borat’s ignorance was borne out of a child-like naivety, this guy is just a bitch. A funny bitch, granted, but one who’s difficult to warm to.
Thankfully, his exploits are well-served by bonus supps, including a generous helping of deleted scenes – the standouts see Brüno visiting a hillbilly gun show (oh, the innuendoes) and attending an anti-gay marriage rally.
That fourth star is earned by the ‘enhanced’ chat-track by an out-of-character Cohen and director Larry Charles, whose barrage of entertaining anecdotes reveal the true extent of their behind-the-scenes bravery.
In fact, it’s no chore to watch it back-to-back with the movie – while Brüno might not reach the heady heights of Borat, it’s no Ali G Indahouse, either
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