Movie Review: Brüno hilarious and offensive to all


**** out of *****

“Vassup?” asks Brüno, a gay fashion designer from Austria. The answer? A whole lot of penis.

Sacha Baron Cohen has been known for his satirical character creations. He started with Ali G, a hip-hop enthusiast who interviewed celebrities on his television show, and then created Borat, a Kazakh reporter who goes to America to learn about the culture. And now — Brüno. Cohen’s characters have been crude, offensive, and downright disgusting — but that’s what makes them so interesting. Cohen is not afraid of going to the extreme to get a laugh.

Brüno begins with the title-character toting an all-Velcro suit to a fashion show in Europe. He dances around backstage and ends up sticking to approximately 100 pieces of clothing and then proceeds to fall on the runway. Because of these antics, he’s fired and decides to go to America to become a rich celebrity. What follows are his different plans to become world famous — including creating a celebrity interview TV show and helping “the hippest” charity of the moment, among other things.

Brüno’s interactions with different people on his quest are filmed by hand-held or hidden cameras, and the reactions he gets from people are what make the movie work.

The movie is, in a word, absurd. There are some extremely entertaining parts: For instance, Brüno deciding it would be a good idea to seduce former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. But there were some raunchy parts, including enough penis to make Perez Hilton fidget in his seat.

Brüno works because of the different extremes that Cohen covers and his fearlessness. Without the comedian’s total commitment to each moment, the genuine feel to his character would be lost.

Cohen is so convincing as Brüno that he makes viewers forget they are watching a movie; instead, he they believe they are part of his weird, twisted journey.

Through the ridiculousness, as Borat did, Brüno is also able to illuminate some of the saddest states of social prejudice in America. People’s instant reactions to statements he makes show us how folks really feel about the homosexual lifestyle — and even prompts some to wear anti-gay T-shirts and chant, “My asshole is only for shitting,” as he walks down the street. Brüno paints a colorful picture of how fear of something different can corrupt social thinking and decency.

Although Brüno deals with many social issues, its far from all politics. Nearly every single person who watches the movie will be offended. There’s no way around that. Each aspect of the spectrum is covered — from abortions to tarot-card readers, not to mention a twirling penis. Cohen leaves no one out, which further shows he’s not out to please anyone and is purely there to create a movie to make viewers laugh, cringe, want to throw up, and laugh again.

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