Brüno Draws Passionate Mixed Reviews
By Jessanne Collins
The New York Times: The film demonstrates, at a fairly high level of conceptual
sophistication, that lampooning homophobia has become an acceptable,
almost unavoidable form of homophobic humor, or at least a way of
licensing gags that would otherwise be out of bounds....[It] derives its humor ... from the assumption that sex between men is
inherently weird, gross and comical.
The New York Press: Neither Bruno nor Borat offer an organized critique; staged and Punk’d
are loosely connected. Even a skit on celebrity baby-bartering turns
into a satire on gay adoption that turns into a talk show parody no
more revealing than a real TV talk show....Baron Cohen (and
his odious collaborator-director Larry Charles, who excreted the
ridiculous Religulous) merely seek to polarize and capitalize.
The New Yorker: Baron Cohen, having sneaked his way into a discussion, seldom has the
nerve to keep his side of the bargain, preferring to cut things short
with a gibe....His comfort zone of comic reference, predicated on
the discomfort of others, begins at the waistline and ends at the
kneecaps....Forget satire; this guy doesn’t want to scorch the
earth anymore. He just wants to swing his dick.
The Guardian: A puerile, penis-fixated freak-fest that reeks ... of suburban, middle-class repression....Bruno is simply smutty public-school trash, evidence of how deranged
someone's sexual outlook becomes when straight-jacketed by bourgeois
convention. It doesn't challenge any social prejudices; indeed, most of
the explicitly tawdry scenes don't involve any unwitting homophobes.
They are simply vehicles for Baron Cohen to express how hilarious he
thinks it is for men to get sexually intimate.
Salon: He is an open hydrant of empty, venal ignorance, a fame-chasing, grandiose fucktard, all because
he is a cockaholic (his term). The repeated pistoning of sucking dick
has scrambled his brains, just as surely as a muddler pulverizes mint
leaves. Make no mistake: It is gay sex that has made Brüno stupid....Baron Cohen
exhibits a similar disconnect and misunderstanding about attitudes
toward gay men as the government.
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