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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Sacha Baron Cohen.
Directors
Larry Charles.
Screenwriters
Sacha Baron Cohen.
Running Time
81 minutes

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Bruno
It’s Borat in hot pants. Nice?


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Plot
After being thrown out of the fashion world and sacked from his TV show Funkyzeit, Austrian media sensation Brüno goes to Los Angeles to reinvent himself and become a big, gay star...


Review
Bruno
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How do you follow Borat, a film that exploded comedy conventions and made its audience horribly complicit in the laughs it generated, almost all at the expense of other people? Well, the sad news is that Brüno reveals you can't. Though it pushes discomfort to an often unbearable degree, going way, way further than Borat, with graphic anal sex jokes, a talking penis and a simulated rimming scene that lasts an eternity for the poor clairvoyant who claims to have summoned up Milli (or is it Vanilli?), this lurching, ragged patchwork really doesn't ever scale the same awkward heights.

The story, such as it is, practically follows the same blueprint, and instead of hiking across America to woo Pamela Anderson, Brüno makes a brief stop in the Middle East as part of a plan to stop the troubles there, and then goes to California, trying various short cuts to celebrity — making a sex tape, adopting an African baby, recording a charity song — along the way. But the problem is, where Borat was an adorable, bumbling buffoon, Brüno is a shrill, vain, unsympathetic narcissist. Borat's targets were always prepared to cut him some slack. Not so Brüno: if they haven't already worked it out, they either leave abruptly or play a guarded game. As a result, few scenes really last long, and there's nothing on a par with Borat's driving lesson, or that excruciating dinner party in Alabama.

There was also a point to Borat. America sees itself as a melting pot, and that film was about testing that claim: is everyone really accepted there? Funnily enough — and it was funny — the answer was pretty much yes. Brüno, though, has no clear purpose. What is it satirising exactly? Celebrity? Homophobia? Xenophobia (again)? It lunges, often quite successfully, at all three, but without any rhyme or reason. It feels thrown together in the editing room — which Borat did too, but in a good way — and relies too much on easy targets, like the model who gushes about how hard it is to put one leg in front of the other, or the greedy stage parents who'll do anything for money. Most disappointing of all is a dreadful celebrity singalong that simply feels glued onto the end.

Despite its flaws, though, there are some genius moments — Brüno's baby photos, his short-lived career as a soap actor, his shooting trip with some very unhappy campers — and what little heart it has comes courtesy of his sidekick Lutz (Hammarsten), his ex-assistant's lovestruck assistant who follows him from Austria. Filling the Azamat slot, Lutz adds a much-needed, gawky innocence to the proceedings. And innocence is in short supply here. On this evidence, Sacha Baron Cohen has been well and truly rumbled, and it's hard to imagine he'll ever be the undercover clown again.


Verdict
A patchy, hit-and-miss comedy with a few outrageous highs and a lot of just-okay padding, Brüno suggests that Sacha Baron Cohen's in-your-face fool routine sadly isn't working any more.


Reviewed by Damon Wise

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Bruno
Empire Star Rating

Brüno Review

Crude and offensive, but with ample cultural insights and gut-busting laughs, Bruno is another outlandish and entertaining mockumentary from Sacha Baron Cohen. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 21:17, 14 December 2011 | Report This Post


After seeing Borat i had to see this and im glad I did. I know this film will never be loved by everyone because most of this films jokes are made about religion, language and race But hey i loved every minute, How do they get away with it? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by AntGC at 15:08, 28 January 2011 | Report This Post


Bruno

I really do enjoy seeing people squirm with awkwardness on subjects such as religion and homosexuality especially in the United States which is advertised as the country of the free and people died to allow them to be free but then the same people who demand that right don't want it for others because they use it for other reasons such as instead of owning a gun and striking the fear of god into people they chose to party and lay with that of the same sex. So when Bruno comes along to strike the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mymatebone at 14:42, 08 May 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Bruno

L: jncorbett Looks rubbish. If people hadn't seen Borat, they knew from the publicity what it was about and so there would be no way they couldn't see Bruno coming (ba-zing!!!) asily one of the worst films ever made ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by flushedgordon at 13:18, 06 May 2010 | Report This Post


Hit and miss? No, just hit

The reviewer must have seen a different film to me. Every scene in this film is brilliant and hilarious. Like many critics he intellectualizes Borat and therefore slags off this film because it doesn't offer up as many underlying ideas and concepts - such as the fear of the other, xenophobia, whatever. That may or may not be true but this film is a comedy - pure and simple. It WILL make you laugh your butt off, and if it doesn't then you're just plain weird. I'm not saying there's nothing to be ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Smootle at 15:43, 30 November 2009 | Report This Post


Funny Warped Ride

Bruno is a disturbing but very funny film to watch. It's very in your face and for a short while, you are taken in a world where anything goes, featuring known celebraties appearing now and then while having some eye watering jokes. I have to say my fave scenes are the talkshow and where Bruno went to the army. Is it worth seeing? Yes, don't take it too seriously and just check it out without thinking a lot. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 14:43, 14 November 2009 | Report This Post


Hit and Miss

Agree here with Damon's 3-star rating. It's hit and miss for me. An absolutely hilarious first half hour, but the outrageous gay jokes run out of steam soon after that. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CIRVIRUS64 at 06:30, 09 October 2009 | Report This Post


Vassup?

Bruno is crude, rude, disgusting, outrageous and eye wateringly hilarious! Sacha Baron Cohen IS the worlds most fearless comedian from insulting terrorists and adopting african babies there is NOTHING he wont do. You come out not just shocked but in disbelief that he would do what he does. There is crossing the line and then...what Sacha Baron Cohen does! this film may offend people and make people want to vomit into their popcorn but it is undeniably one of the funniest comedies to come around... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by THE DALTONATOR at 10:07, 08 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Bruno

r] Bruno is a funny movie, no doubt about it, the scene i Score -[/b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by MI Cruise at 16:04, 03 September 2009 | Report This Post


RE: No Point?....

After hearing so many negative reactions to this movie, I was very pleasantly surprised. I laughed outloud far more than I thought i would, the ending is absolutely the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. Bravo Mr Cohen, I thought it was great. Didn't care one bit about the storyline, or the mixture of staged and improv moments. I thought he was so good in character it didn't bother me whether it was real or not. Did i mention the end? Holy Shit how did he get away with that?!?!?!?!... More

Posted by jrewing1000 at 17:31, 02 August 2009 | Report This Post


No Point?....

There IS a point to Bruno....to make people laugh 'till the cry. Certainly worked on me. Too many moments to pick out, although I must mention the big butch hard nut reduced to tears, courtesy of the genius set-piece towards the end.... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SonnyDaze at 19:43, 30 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Bruno

Disgusting, crude and the plot is quite similiar to Borat. I havent laughed that hard at a film since Borat- the roof of the cinema nearly came off!! ... More

Posted by kumar at 18:59, 30 July 2009 | Report This Post


Bruno

Great family film for all. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 16:59, 30 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Messed Up. But Still Hilarious

L: MI Cruise I heard that theres a snipped 15 rated version due to demand from the younger audience does anyone know what parts they may have cut out that gave it its original 18 certificate? 0 seconds was cut from the 18 rated version. Not sure what exactly though. The BBFC website should tell you though. EDIT - Indeed it does - lm was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive an '18' classifi... More

Posted by adambatman82 at 23:53, 25 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Messed Up. But Still Hilarious

I heard that theres a snipped 15 rated version due to demand from the younger audience does anyone know what parts they may have cut out that gave it its original 18 certificate? ... More

Posted by MI Cruise at 23:46, 25 July 2009 | Report This Post


Messed Up. But Still Hilarious

A great comedy. Hilarious. Who would have thought of a talking dickhole? I'm sure alot of people are wondering why Sacha didn't get bashed at all. A great movie, although I find that Borat was better. I was happy with it and anyone who says that its an offensive or uncalled for are pussy little fucks that ruin it for everyone. A funny movie that anyone who has an extremely big crude, rude side to them, like me, will love this,. A big 4 stars deserved. "Ve are so much like ze Sex And Ze City... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SlasherHorrorFan at 02:24, 25 July 2009 | Report This Post


Borat #2

Absolutely hilarious. Barely stopped laughing, and it was guilt free compared with Borat! Not in the least bit original- almost a carbon copy of Borat- but funnier than said film, if less clever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevos at 21:50, 23 July 2009 | Report This Post


Borat # 2

Absolutely hilarious. Barely stopped laughing, and it was guilt free compared with Borat! Not in the least bit original- almost a carbon copy of Borat- but funnier than said film, if less clever. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by stevos at 21:50, 23 July 2009 | Report This Post


Bruno

Crude, offensive, disgusting...and pretty damn funny in places! Not a patch on Borat for a number of reasons. First, Borat was a likeable character - Bruno is not. Borat seemed like it was all (OK mostly) for real, even if it wasn't - a lot of Bruno feels staged. And it relies too much on cheap cock gags and stuff. Having said all that I still enjoyed it but I do wonder if Cohen has any more of this type of film in him. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trueborndjross at 20:20, 23 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: I would give it 3 1/2

L: admuz L: Death_Row_Marv What really annoys me is the fact they cut out the Jackson part. So its OK to offend some pople but not others. WHY? Because he DIED you idiot. ut it's ok to take the piss of the Isreali/Palestinian conflict where so many innocent people have lost their lives? He's pandering to the celebrity world by not having the balls to keep it in. Not very brave after all. ... More

Posted by boot at 20:06, 20 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: I would give it 3 1/2

L: Death_Row_Marv What really annoys me is the fact they cut out the Jackson part. So its OK to offend some pople but not others. WHY? sp; Because he DIED you idiot. ... More

Posted by admuz at 18:22, 20 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Bruno

On the whole I found this dissapointing. It's not a patch on Borat and the main reason for this  - before getting into what was/wasn't staged or how a lot of the scenes are quite short because they just weren't working that well - is that Bruno, for me, just isn't that funny a character. In the original tv show the small clips worked pretty well just lampooning the fashion world, but moving outside of that I don't think he works. He's pretty much completely unlikeable whereas Borat was alw... More

Posted by boot at 05:32, 20 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: I would give it 3 1/2

I would have liked to have seen more celebs. I'm sure Ben Affleck got an interview and had no idea who Bruno was. He went on Howard Stern and talked about this strange Austrian journalist and Stern then told him who he was. ... More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 08:34, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


RE: I would give it 3 1/2

What was the jackson part about? ... More

Posted by spamandham at 04:15, 17 July 2009 | Report This Post


I would give it 3 1/2

Yes it is funny in parts. Very very funny in parts. I it was a better film than Borat. However. After the MTV awards its hard to work out what is real and what is not. Maybe it is all fake. You can not help but feel that Cohen is far too smug for his own good when speaking to "normal" people in it. What really annoys me is the fact they cut out the Jackson part. So its OK to offend some pople but not others. WHY? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Death_Row_Marv at 15:26, 16 July 2009 | Report This Post


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