Every once in a while I have seen a film which make an especially powerful and enjoyable impact. I recall years ago being in bad form and going to see the John Cleese film, A Fish Called Wanda . I had no particular expectations of that film but it was so genuinely funny tat my stomach ached, I laughed so much.
Similarly, I got a great kick out of watching Borat, the last Sacha Baron Cohen offering. When I saw trailers of his latest film, Brüno I couldn’t wait to see it last night on its opening day. But I’m afraid it is an overwhelming disappointment.
Brüno is a tall, lanky, gombeen Austrian gay man connected to the fashions industry who travels to Los Angeles in search of celebrity and fame by getting up to various outrageous stunts. But unlike Borat there is no coherence to the story line, however fictional and absurd that might have been. The dialogue between Borat and gullible members of the public and various characters made Borat a thoroughly entertaining film.
But the dialogue in Brüno was extremely weak and, at times, non-existent. During one scene Brüno was purporting to interview the former candidate for the US presidency, Ron Paul in a hotel suite. A technical glitch caused the interview to be suspended. Brüno and the interviewee moved to an adjacent bedroom while the SNAFU was being attended to. He lights candles, drops his trousers and Mr Paul, not surprisingly walks out. Several other set-pieces encounters in Israel and Lebanon were also very weak.
The film therefore depended far too much on crude, vulgar and tasteless behaviour that lacked any artistic merit and the shocked facial expression of onlookers to carry the gag. But this simply did not work. While the young audience last night laughed and giggled from time to time, it was not the laughter of an audience that was either impressed or wholly absorbed by the film. My advice is to give it a miss.
Brüno was a really big disappointment and not a patch on Borat for entertainment value! You would get a bigger laugh reading crude graffiti in a public toilet than from this movie!