Brüno ★★★★½

This film is outrageously funny and keenly observant in its satire, in part because it has the courage to really challenge the viewer and is not afraid of being offensive, and its social commentary is effective regardless of whether or not some of the sequences are staged, albeit in different ways. While Brüno is not as likeable a character as Borat, he does not come across as completely unsympathetic, largely thanks to one or two moderately touching scenes. There are many brilliant moments in the movie, one of them being the latter part of the campfire scene, beginning with Brüno commenting on the stars and ending with his perfectly timed question regarding the sleeping arrangements. The last words of the film, sung by Snoop Dogg at the end of the "Dove of Peace" song, are simple but powerful, "He gay, he gay—okay". The criticism against "Brüno" for reinforcing gay stereotypes is somewhat misplaced, because the film cleverly uses those stereotypes to make a point not only about its victims but also about the viewer themselves, although many people in the audience may not realize that. Sacha Baron Cohen gives a wonderful performance as Brüno, and that he never breaks character is a remarkable feat; Gustaf Hammarsten shines in the role of Lutz, Brüno’s assistant.