What are Austrians famous for? Adolf Hitler and shagging your daughter in a basement.
This statement is quite offensive.
Sacha Baron Cohen, by contrast, is not offensive, not really. But unlike my attention-grabbing opening sentence, he is astonishingly funny.
I’m guessing most readers will agree with the funny part but the creator of Borat, Ali G and Bruno, not offensive? Damn skippy he’s not. Many of today’s comedians tread the thin line between ironic racism/sexism/homophobia trying to get laughs from those that get the joke, and happy to have those that don’t get it laugh as well.
Cohen is far too clever for that. His particular brand of terror comedy leaves no-one in doubt just who the joke is on. After all, how many homophobes laughing at how ‘faggy’ Bruno is, will sit through a man’s knob dancing in front of camera for the best part of a minute?
It’s sad to see the full title of ‘Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt’ replaced with the simple ‘Bruno’.
It’s not just that I love stupidly overlong titles but it also saves me having to write a paragraph about the plot, simply because that 25-word long title is it.
As with Borat, Sacha has created a character in Bruno that is so ridiculous it’s almost impossible to see how anyone not drooling into a bib could possibly take it seriously.
A full 50% of the jokes originate from this. The other 50% of the gut laughs occur when people agree with Bruno’s anti-homosexual leanings once he attempts to become, just like Tom Cruise, straight.
To state that a film only has two types of joke may seem like a bit of an insult but the audacity to which Sacha throws himself into the set-pieces should make most other comedians weep into their Baftas and British Comedy Awards.
In the final scene he displays such balls (not literally, that’s much earlier in the film) I don’t have the necessary word skills to display how much respect I have for him.
Which makes the final, end credits piece so painful to watch, and an awfully sour note to end such a triumph on. By roping in their celeb mates (Bono, Sting, Chris Martin, Snoop Dogg) for a sub-Comic Relief charity skit, the filmmakers take a huge sweaty dump on all the hard work that’s gone before. The last few minutes are so ill-conceived I actually left the cinema in a bad mood.
Do yourself a favour, watch Bruno, laugh and applaud a brave, brave man but get the fuck out before anyone starts singing.