So last night I finally got to see the much hyped new Sacha Baron Cohen box-office hit Bruno, which, as a diehard Baron Cohen/Ali G/Borat/Bruno fan from ever since Da Ali G Show first premiered on Channel 4, I was really looking forward to seeing. But, boy, was I let down. To paraphrase Baron Cohen's flamboyantly gay Austrian TV fashionista character, this new movie "ist aus," as in, opposite of "in." And it wasn't that I was shocked in any way, or that I found it offensive to gays, or to redneck Americans, for that matter. I just found it offensive to my sense of humor. I expected a lot more from the great Baron Cohen.
Where was the quick witted Bruno from Da Ali G Show? The one whose hilarious skits included brilliantly manipulating fashion tastemakers into totally contradicting themselves without realizing how ridiculous they looked? Replacing genuine wit and biting satire, post Borat Bruno was merely a barrage of slapstick penis jokes with no real substance or humor to back them up. Even Bruno's encounter with Ron Paul, which could have been the screen magic of such past Ali G interviews with Newt Gingrinch, Andy Rooney, and Pat Buchanan, fell totally flat in comparision.
Of course, the new Bruno isn't a total waste. The movie offered occasional belly laugh moments such as the Paula Abdul encounter. But my advice is don't rush out to theaters to see it. Wait until it comes out on DVD. And speaking of DVDs you should get at Amoeba, I would recommend going back and checking out Da Ali G Show for the far superior Bruno appearances from that missed TV series. Also go back to check out the totally slept on (especially Stateside) pre-Borat 2002 Ali G Indahouse: The Movie about the unlikely rise to fame and political power by the jungle/hip-hop goon from the suburb of Staines that Baron Cohen plays so brilliantly.