We saw Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” twice. Besides being howlingly funny, it fulfilled its subtitle: “Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” for as the naÃ¯f Kazakh journalist Borat travels the “glorious nation of America,” he does learn about its culture – and so, often uncomfortably, do we.
But “BrÃ¼no” is a mess. It’s as if Baron Cohen had let his id go wild, with barely a nod to his intellect – which, as we can see from “Borat” and some rare moments in this film, is very fine.
The film is close to pornographic – and what is worse, tediously so. The few witty interludes – the real interview with a former Mossad agent and a Palestinian academic during which Baron Cohen’s character “confuses” hummus with Hamas is priceless – are not enough to raise this misbegotten movie from the dregs. (And by the way, the interviewees were paid for their participation and signed releases – although they were not let in on the joke.)
We’re sure that “BrÃ¼no” will rake in millions of dollars (and pounds and marks and euros and yen and even shekels), but it’s not worth a movie ticket (even with a senior discount).
Please, Sacha Baron Cohen: You have a remarkable gift. Don’t waste it on chazerei.