Teutonic Twins: Baron Cohen’s “Brüno” (above) owes its life to Myers' "Sprockets" (below)Simply put, “Brüno” is "Borat" by way of "Sprockets."
Stylistically and in terms of its narrative drive, the new collaboration of star-auteur Sasha Baron Cohen and director Larry Charles is nearly indistinguishable from their "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" (2006), only not as special, given that, well, this schtick has already been done. And done better.
But the character of Brüno himself is a near replica of Mike Myers' Dieter creation, the West German television talk show host that Myers whipped up with Dana Anderson for the Second City sketch troupe and which became a recurring character during Myers' run on "Saturday Night Live." Surely, you remember, the aloof miminalist "Sprockets" host demanding that his reluctant guests pet his monkey, Klaus. "Touch him! Love him! Liebe meine abschmenkee!"
Deiter was marginally funny then and Brüno is marginally funny now.
The bottom line is, Brüno is essentially a sexed-up Dieter - no more, no less. But, wait, back to "Brüno" and "Borat"...
Both are episodic, although "Brüno" is noticeably more scattered with comic sequences that come to no natural conclusion - i.e., most end without a punchline. They just ... stop. Abruptly. But what really sets these two apart is that Baron Cohen's shallow, celebrity-fixated opportunitist isn't nearly as likable as his crazed journalist from Kazakhstan. But then rampaging narcissists are rarely amusing.
As Dieter often said: "Your story has become tiresome. Please leave."
Note in Passing: Oddly enough, Myers once planned to bring his Dieter/"Sprockets" character to the big screen for Universal Pictures and Image Entertainment (the Ron Howard/Brian Glazer company). There was a contentious lawsuit when he decided to pass on the film. Universal is also the production company that produced and released "Brüno."