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Rated R (MPAA) · 81 min. · 2009

*Brüno* Star/shockmeister Sacha Baron Cohen delivers a more briskly paced, and even funnier follow-up to 2006’s *Borat*. Though *Brüno* assures viewers of their superiority to everyone on screen, it makes something of that cheap-shot satire. Cohen’s real target is the culture’s push-button morality---the arbitrary line where people are told they should start taking offense to something. The flamingly gay, egomaniacal *Brüno* (Cohen) is an aspiring superstar, waving the dubious Hollywood calling card that he’s 19 years old. It never occurs to the self-righteous test audience for *Brüno*’s entertainment journalism TV pilot---which decides which star babies should be aborted, and where celebrity interviews never even get started---that maybe it’s a vanity send-up. And when *Brüno*’s fey disobedience in military bootcamp leaves his superiors stunned, it’s a needed slight on America’s misplaced priorities. To address the controversy: Of course *Brüno* has to be a gay caricature; he’s deliberately conceived as a homophobe’s nightmare. Cohen is an interesting comedian---he’s no straight man, but he’s less funny than the real reactions he gets from others. This makes *Brüno*’s clearly fictitious moments perfunctory story-moving filler. But there are fewer of them this time. For the bulk of its length, the bright, inspired *Brüno* exposes the limits of a “liberated” culture’s tolerance. *- Mark Palermo*
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Director: Larry Charles
Writer: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer and Jeff Schaffer
Producer: Sacha Baron Cohen, Jay Roach, Dan Mazer and Monica Levinson
Cast: Sacha Baron Cohen, Alice Evans, Trishelle Cannatella, Sandra Seeling, Ben Youcef, Alexander von Roon, Candice Cunningham and Tom Yi


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