So say the early reports from a 20-minute screening that played at the SXSW festival in Austin over the weekend. Said a THR reporter: "It's funny deja vu, but it's still deja vu."
The short promo reel, which featured segments introduced by the film's star, Sacha Baron Cohen, via video, showed Cohen's gay fashion wannabe icon Bruno interviewing the hapless, bewildered, and fame hungry. He entices people into agreeing to subject their babies to horrible things, just so they can be in a photo shoot. He enrages fight-goers by making out with another dude. And he adopts a black baby and trots it out onto a talk show. So funny "scandalous" stuff meant to shock and horrify the easily shocked and horrified.
There's been the requisite reaction from Twitterheads:
Vulture has a roundup of "critics"' reactions, including Quint from Ain't It Cools News, who called the film "a commentary on how people really act." Which is good for, you know, a documentary of sorts.
Some dude from Austin 360 offers up a comprehensive summation of why this movie exists: "The movie is bound to stir up just as much controversy as Borat. And that's the point."
Which is true. But does anyone get as annoyed as me at all of these people who think they're so fuckin' with it, man, so they crow about how "controversial" and "scandalous" but "brilliant" Borat was, while thinking they sound really hip and sardonic and enlightened? I kinda think those people suck. It was a funny movie, yes, and yes he pushed buttons that were sitting there all shiny and red, just begging to be pushed. And I'm sure Bruno will be much the same. But gratuitously patting yourself on the back for "getting" Sacha Baron Cohen's humor is as charming and original as saying that Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was "warped." If you thought that, then you're just another part of the machine, man.