It’s impossible not to compare Bruno with Sacha Baron Cohen’s last mockumentary, Borat. It follows the same formula of staging pranks on the most appalling examples of American citizens. Bruno simply uses a different caricature of a foreign transplant to bait the unsuspecting participants and hilariously overstep the boundaries of political correctness.

Ultimately, it’s the candid performances of the jokes’ victims (the belt-wielding silicone-enhanced swinger, the uninformed airhead publicists or the stage mom who’s all-too-willing to dress her toddler in an SS uniform) and not Cohen’s usually impressive acting chops that make Bruno worth seeing.

The titular character, a flamboyantly gay Austrian television host, becomes an outcast in his native Europe after a catwalk disaster involving a Velcro suit. He heads to Hollywood on a quest to achieve fame.

The hijinks that ensue are sure to elicit big laughs, if not some nausea. Male frontal nudity is funniest in small doses and when least expected, but Bruno is saturated with cringe-worthy shots of genitalia, overusing a convention that worked in Borat (remember that naked wrestling scene?) to the point that the sausage’s screen presence is more distracting that amusing.

While Borat was guerrilla comedy gold, Bruno barely nabs a bronze. Sure, there are plenty of those laughably awkward situations that made Borat so entertaining, but, unlike the Kazakh’s naivete, the modern European fashionista’s cultural cluelessness isn’t really believable. Consequently, much of Bruno seems contrived, with no help from Cohen’s spotty Germanic accent. And while the film does a good job of exposing the frighteningly fervent homophobia of the southern United States, Cohen’s cliched portrayal of a gay man reinforces negative stereotypes that so anger the LGBT community.

Nevertheless, Bruno is an entertaining farce, pushing the limits of obscenity further than Borat ever could, but in the end, it lacks the ingenuity of its predecessor.