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Brüno Draws Passionate Mixed Reviews

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 scenes 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 Bruno stupid....Baron Cohen exhibits a similar disconnect and misunderstanding about attitudes toward gay men as the government.

Previously >Mo Rocca interviews Bruno for Out

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