This weekend I found the time to do something I haven’t done in a while and that’s seeing two movies.
The first film was Bruno. This is the second movie from Sacha Baron Cohen who first brought us the hilarious Borat. When Borat first came on the scene I avoided it for quite some time. I haven’t, in the past, been a big fan of over-the-top character films especially when the star appears on late-night shows as the character. I hated when he did it with Borat. I hated it when Will Ferrell did it with Talledaga Nights (another film that coincidentally stars Cohen) and so forth.
However, as the positive reviews from both mainstream reviewers and friends poured in I finally gave in and saw Borat. I loved it. Yes it was sophomoric with some of the humor but it was also quite brilliant and original.
This experience softened my thinking when I heard about Bruno. Early reviews said it took the mantle from Borat and pushed it even higher. This I had to see.
Well, it turns out that my initial concerns about Borat might have been better placed here. Bruno is funny. In a few sparing scenes it’s very funny. However, for me, it never even came close to reaching the brilliance of Borat. Contrary to some reviews I found this story to be far more disjointed than the earlier effort. It seemed much more like sketches tossed together in the guise of a completed storyline. I found several of the scenes so over-the-top ridiculous that they just weren’t funny. One involves a real rotating penis. Yep. Imagine 30 seconds (or was it minutes?) of watching a real penis being swung in circles and bouncing up and down all while zoomed in to have it take up the whole screen. This sort of thing I just don’t get.
I walked out of the movie thinking that it was a funny enough movie but lacking. In hindsight I found The Hangover to be a better movie in almost every area and that Baron Cohen will have to try again if he plans to top Borat.