What is the funniest movie of the past five years? There are only a handful of candidates. The Hangover, Role Models, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and, of course, Borat. So how does Sacha Baron Cohen live up to what might very well be the top of that list? By not trying to make the same movie over again.
Bruno is very different from Borat. Yes, it involves Cohen doing a funny foreign character that plays off of people's stupidity and, yes, he travels the country (and the world in this one) to find the right situation. The main difference comes in the style of comedy. Borat made us laugh out loud continuously and gave us a few moments of squirming. Bruno goes the opposite way. It is very funny and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, but the comedy here is driven by shock and discomfort. A lot of critics said that Borat pushed the envelope. In Bruno, Cohen rips the envelope open, drops a nuclear bomb on it, and then has sex with its ashes.
I went to a late afternoon showing, so it was fairly empty. That was lucky for me, because I put some popcorn in my mouth as the movie was starting and immediately did a spit take. Very little, if anything, offends me, but going by the accepted norms of society, there are going to be a lot of people (mostly those who are homophobic or squeamish about seeing simulated gay sex) who are going to walk out of the theater very unhappy. In fact, I'm going to search the web for people who had exactly that experience and laugh at them.
If you are not squeamish -- and I'm not going to say what the movie portrays, but it's a lot more than you think it does -- go see it. The last twenty minutes are worth the price of admission alone.
I might be offended by stupidity... This is one of the trailers that ran before the movie. Worst movie ever? All you need to hear is: "From the director of Wild Hogs".