Poor Brüno! The 19-year-old presenter with the really hot body from Austrian TV fashion show Funkyzeitung has been ‘schwarzlisted’ following an unfortunate incident involving his all-Velcro suit at a Milan catwalk event. Leaving behind his pygmy Asian flight-attendant boyfriend, Diesel and Brüno (Sacha Baron Cohen) head to America to become the ‘the biggest gay movie star since Arnold Schwarzenegger’ and the world’s most famous Austrian since Hitler. His proposed talk show, A-List Celebrity Max Out goes down badly however with a focus group, who blanch at the talking penis and the celebrity foetus analysis segment. Equally unsuccessful is the sex tape involving our hero and an elderly Republican congressman; his efforts to champion a particular charity (‘if Clooney has Darfur, what is Darfive?’); and his Middle East peace-brokering mission, where hummus is confused with Hamas. Supported by his faithful assistant Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten), Brüno decides that to conquer America, he will have to become straight – after all it worked for Tom Cruise and Kevin Spacey.
Baron Cohen’s much anticipated follow-up to Borat, again directed by Larry Charles and co-scripted by Anthony Hines, is crude, politically incorrect, shocking, outrageous, vulgar, and very, very funny. And once again the star has physically transformed himself into his cartoonish character, here speaking in a high-pitched German accent and boasting a lean physique to show off a series of ultra tight-fitting outfits.
Pushy parents who don’t mind their babies being dressed up in Nazi clothes, the idiocy of celebrities, and baying daytime studio audiences who are enraged by Brüno swapping an ipod for a black baby, might seem easy targets for mockery. As with Borat, though, this style of extreme comedy reveals and satirises entrenched social prejudices such as racism and homophobia. If anything Brüno becomes even funnier when our protagonist leaves LA behind and journeys into middle America. Heterosexuality itself becomes the butt of the jokes when Brüno visits a ‘gay converter’ who warns him about having to put up with women, attends Natonal Guards training camp and is punished at a swingers party. Oh, and Brüno also gets to mime having sex with a member of Milli Vanilli. Wunderbah!
General release from Fri 10 Jul.