Not a gay old time.
Bruno (2009): 4 out of 10: I have to admit I am more than a bit disappointed here. Bruno has its share of laugh out loud moments but it simply does not have those great memorable scenes that made Borat such a treat.
One cannot help comparing Bruno to Borat since in many ways they are the same story. Borat worked because the character was, at least on a movie logic level, believable. He was played as an innocent whom one could root for; even if he had some terrible values upon reflection. He was a lovable character.
While Borat has an innocent air about him and a charismatic traveling companion, Bruno is as characterized a horrible human being from the get-go with a milquetoast traveling companion.
Bruno is a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion host that is so horrible, one simply feels nothing but sympathy for Sacha Baron Cohen’s victims. When you start feeling sorry for Ron Paul and Anti-homosexual Christian deprogrammers the movie has gone off the rails.
Cohen tries to infuse Bruno with countless shots of male genitalia to embarrass (one supposes) his audience, Alas none if it is as cringe-inducing as the naked wresting from the first movie (Come to think of it, nothing on earth is as cringe-inducing as that scene) and nothing in Bruno comes anywhere close to being that funny.
While there are certainly scattered laughs throughout the film, Bruno is more in the style of an old Mondo Cane movie than a comedy. It is more about making the audience and his victims uncomfortable than provoking any mirth or insight.
When I watched Borat, I would tell myself if I met the character on the street I would be polite to him as well. While watching Bruno I was shocked no one punched him in the face.