Brüno: ** 1/2 (out of 4)
I enjoyed Borat back when I saw it, but when it comes down to it, I only remember two details about the movie: the interesting character (with its associated mimicry from Americans everywhere), and the glorious scene with the brown bear in the ice cream truck. The rest just ran together; I remember the embarrassment humor and a few specific jokes when I think about it for a while, and that's about it.
For this, the sequel to Borat, I'm just going to remember the opening song.
To be fair, I really like that opening song: Nessaja, by Scooter, a band that I love for its over-the-top ludicrousness. This song is one of my favorites anyway; and for those In The Know, it set the tone very, very well (especially if you've seen the video... but I digress). The audience didn't quite understand why I burst out laughing as soon as I recognized the tune (though they might have gotten the hint when "the painted cow" was mentioned... but I clearly digress again. If I'm not careful, this entire review is really going to be about Scooter). For me, I recognized that it would give us a bit more euro-trash behavior than even the trailers hinted at. And just for good measure, the poor sound system hurt the song badly, and the point that it was cut off at showed how the rest of the movie was going to be over-the-top but not follow through the way it should... (Okay, seriously, that's my last reference to the song, at least for now).
From that point on, yes, the movie was funny, but in an instantly forgettable way. Most of the humor was based on one of two paths: "I can't believe they got away with that", and "where the hell did that come from?". Both of these require some level of surprise, and so I'll refrain from discussing them in too much detail. But what I can say is that they were going for a third kind of humor: "look how we can make these people look like fools". And really, they didn't do a great job of that. Only in a few cases was the hypocrisy amusing.
...and you know, that is all I have to say. It was funny. There was a good song. I doubt I'll have any interest in seeing it again. And while I kinda hope that it's not as popular as Borat was, I would like to see Cohen do another movie before too long.
P.S. IT'S NOT A BIRD, IT'S NOT A PLANE; IT MUST BE DAVE, WHO'S ON THE TRAIN