I went with some friends to see Bruno (err, Brüno) today. Borat ranked among the most hilarious movies I’ve ever seen, so I had high expectations for Bruno, a movie about a flamboyant fashion reporter from Austria.
A coworker, in describing the movie a few days ago, compared it to a trainwreck: there were parts that were really, really bad, and yet you couldn’t walk away. Borat had some parts that were so offensive and so utterly over the top that it hurt to laugh, yet at the same time, you felt a little offended. I thought Bruno often flipped that: it was a little funny and quite offensive.
Most sexual scenes are blurred out, but there is a bit of, err, graphic male nudity, that was, regretably, not blurred in any way. Much like the other over-the-top scenes, it reached the point of hilarity, but then kept going until it became disturbing, offensive, and not funny.
The movie definitely had parts that were laugh-out-loud funny, and that left me in pain from laughing so hard. But many other parts seem to have horribly offended gay rights groups, while thoroughly disgusting heterosexuals. There were several points in the movie in which I truly thought that Bruno was in danger of being killed, including one in which he travels to the Middle East and dresses in traditional Orthodox Jew attire, except he adds his flamboyant flair, and is chased by many outraged people. He meets with a terrorist while in the Middle East and does nothing but offend him. He goes hunting with conservative hunters and starts hitting on them, at one point stripping nude in the middle of the night and trying to enter someone else’s tent.
The movie somewhat followed the formulaic plot of Borat, which left the movie a bit predictable, and which I didn’t think really made much sense to duplicate. Overall, I’d say that the movie had moments of sheer hilarity, but could have been condensed to about 20 minutes, with the removed 60 minutes being comprised of about 10 minutes of filler between the funny parts, and 50 minutes of stuff that went too far and became offensive, or which was really much more graphic than was needed. Everyone who saw the movie with me seems to have drawn the same conclusion: funny at times, but I really wouldn’t recommend it.
And, dear God, to the mother who brought her early-teens son to the movie and sat in front of us: what in God’s name were you thinking?