‘Brüno’ Marches Outrageously Into London Premiere

Sacha Baron Cohen makes his entrance in character, dressed as a sexy Buckingham Palace guard.

“I like to slip in — I don’t like to be noticed.” That’s what [movieperson id="294580"]Sacha Baron Cohen[/movieperson] told The Associated Press at London’s Leicester Square on Wednesday, during the red carpet premiere of [movie id="327307"]“Brüno,”[/movie] the British satirist’s film about a flamboyant gay fashion journalist. Of course, when Cohen — in full waxed-and-dyed Brüno character — made this declaration, he was dressed as some sort of sexed-up Buckingham Palace guard (huge furry hat, tight leather shorts) and had just paraded down the street with a military procession of similarly dressed men.

From his MTV Movie Awards encounter with Eminem to this U.K. premiere, Cohen knows how to make an unforgettable impression and drum up oodles of publicity. After being introduced to the assembled crowd with a marching-band version of “I Will Survive,” Brüno sashayed with his comrades into the square and announced, “I’m hoping this will be the biggest movie starring a gay Austrian since ‘Terminator 2,’ ” taking a funny (if baseless) swipe at Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Cohen seemed to leave no target untouched — not even Prince Harry or Borat — much as he does in his film, which hits U.S. theaters on July 10. As reviews begin to trickle out, the critical consensus appears to be that the film is a wild success. “Sacha Baron Cohen and his wicked comic cohorts have produced a film that is funnier, more offensive, and more outrageous than ‘Borat’ and the collected output of [Cohen creation] Ali G put together,” wrote the Evening Standard.

After the premiere, BBC News wrote, “Sometimes you question whether [Cohen] has finally crossed the line into offensive bad taste — and, latterly, whether you were right to laugh at it — but the audience all seemed to guffaw and groan in the right places. They even gasped in horror when they were supposed to. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and if you are easily shocked, this certainly won’t be for you, but some will find it outrageously hilarious.”

Before heading inside for the screening, Cohen took the time to dole out outrageous quote after outrageous quote, telling the AP, “['Brüno'] is going to be the most important documentary about a gay white guy since ‘The Passion of the Christ.’ “