This disappointing follow up to Borat was on TV so I watched it out of lethargy and with slight voyeurism; I knew there would be endless gratuitous nudity and Sacha Baron Cohen, famous for his green “mankini” is an attractive man.
I was well punished. The first half of the film was a slow ramble around unpleasant permutations of anal sex. We even saw him having his anus bleached, some poor woman in an overall labouring away at his back end.
I struggled to think myself into the joke, it took effort but the joke was there – ghastly Bruno has an obsession with be coming famous. Everything in the plot was geared to that simple story. We were in for a little parable about modern folly.
From about the middle the film got better, and faster, as Bruno reached America and began hitting numerous US targets; stage mums who would sacrifice their children’s safety to get them into a film, any film, a gullible black American TV audience were outraged that he appeared to have adopted a black childe, he even became a recruit in the US army, and regaled his horrified homophobic comrades with gay banter. Whatever you think of him, Cohen is certainly fearless, death defying when he gave cheek to a twitchy middle-eastern war lord.
I realised that Cohen is really Roger Cook all over again. I was watching the Cook Report, with added depravity and visceral hatred. In Borat, Cohen visited and lampooned the peasant villagers who helped to murder his relations during the war. That film was the most ruthless riposte to the Holocaust I’ve seen. Bruno is at the revenge game again; a detestable Aryan who by being gay is also a victim, Cohen uses him to torment people he sees as dangerously oppressive; bigoted blacks, stupid women, evangelical Christians, bone-headed soldiers and American red necks.
Bruno makes constant references to Hitler, which his victims naturally don’t recognise, and as a puppet of Cohen the supposedly gentle Bruno is fuelled by loathing. It’s a pity he can’t get himself transported back to the Third Reich, where he would undoubtedly get right up Hitler’s fat nose and one can only imagine what he would do with his neurasthenic henchmen.
Despite Bruno’s reckless adventures I didn’t learn anything new or get many laughs from the film, but I wasn’t meant to. It was made by and entirely for the delight of Sacha Baron Cohen. It was a tonic to see someone enjoying himself so much.