Posts Tagged ‘Review’

Cohen goes ultra-offensive with “Bruno”

July 20, 2009

Rated R : 1 hour 23 minutes : Universal Pictures

At the time actor/screenwriter Sacha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles were into principal photography for the 2006 film, Borat, I assume that it was much easier to “dupe” unsuspecting people into the trickery that took place in that hysterical comedy masterpiece. I say easier because four years ago Cohen was a considerably lesser-known face in film, let alone comedy; with only die hard fans of his television show able to point him and his characters out. He used America’s unfamiliarity with him to his full humurous advantage in every nook and cranny of Borat, and we all laughed. So three years have came and went, and he has sky-rocketed into mainstream popularity with the help of other films as well, such as Talladega Nights, and Sweeney Todd. Whether you love his style of comedy or hate it, (because there is no in-between) one thing is for sure: you will forever remember the trademark face and antics of Cohen and his creations. For that reason alone, I would think the production of Cohen’s next full-length film, Bruno, would have been a million times harder to mold together with realistic trickery. I guess it must have just came down to he, Charles, and a large team of researches/investigators/assistants finding certain areas of the world that are populated with people who still would have no idea who Cohen really is and what he is up to. Seeing the finished product of Bruno led me to believe that they succeeded very highly again, and for what I assume has got to be the final time.

Cohen wastes no time with letting the audience know that the Austrian fashionista, Bruno, is going to be far more shocking than Borat could ever even dream of being. In his home country he hosts a television show and frequently declares himself “the face of Austrian fashion”, but his longtime successful run in the business is put to a shameful end when his velcro-suit invention backfires on him at a major fashion show, and he must flee out of country in hopes to regain face and stardom elsewhere. With only his “assistant to his assistant”, Lutz, still vowing to stay by his side, Bruno heads to America in hopes of making a television show and being the greatest gay interviewer in the history of the country. Needless to say, this instigates some outrageous interactions with well-known American faces, such as Paula Abdul, Harrison Ford, and even Ron Paul, who is so genuinely frightened and disgusted by the advances of Bruno that the sequence alone becomes worth the price of admission. It would be insane and downright disrespectful to go into details about just what kinds of tricks Cohen has up his sleeve this time around, so I will only say that if you were worried that he might not have it in him to make as effective an experience as he did three years ago in Borat (I had my doubts, I’m not going to lie), you will be pleasantly relieved within seconds of this film beginning.

There are many more appearances by celebrities in this film than I thought there would be (and even a ridiculous collection of artists joining Bruno for a send-off song in the finale) but what remains Cohen’s bread and butter is his selection of which pedestrians to take advantage of and make feel extremely uncomfortable. When Bruno visits a gay converter in Alabama there are moments of comic bliss, but what had me rolling as much as even the best scenes in Borat, were when he decides to attend a swinger party…or, more accurately: a heterosexual swinger party. Overall it makes complete and obvious sense to why Cohen decided to bring us Borat followed by Bruno, because the former was a perfect way to blast us with unexpected brilliance, and then when he had to one-up himself with shock value he could bring out the extremely flamboyant homosexual acts of Bruno. It all works extremely well and was the worth the wait, even though it wasn’t quite as perfect as Borat. One thing is certain: barring a miracle, this is going to be the last time Cohen will be able to pull off realistic antics like this on such a massive scale. What a nice send-off to a unique comedic genre.

star_ratings_image3 and a half

Sacha Baron Cohen
Gustaf Hammarsten
Written by
Sacha Baron Cohen
Anthony Hines
Dan Mazer
Jeff Schaffer
Directed by
Larry Charles


Ferguson (Continues) Reviews

July 26, 2008

I will be returning soon. I hope you haven’t lost faith or patience in me.