"Vassup Sydney, do you like my helmet?" British satirist Sacha Baron Cohen's alter ego, clad in an armour suit complete with full-metal codpiece, yelled at screaming fans as he made his way to the "Bruno" premiere late Monday.
"Ich have been to seven countries in the last 18 days, which is more than any Austrian since 1941," said the comedian, who dressed as a bull and wore a bearskin hat for earlier stops on his promotional tour.
Bruno, who earlier described Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as "uber-cute," said the bespectacled leader had invited him back to Sydney for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
"He's invited me back for Mardi Gras, where he says you can wear a mask and run around doing whatever you want without anyone knowing who you are," he said.
Bruno said he hoped the movie, which depicts his efforts to find fame and fortune in the United States, "realises its full global potential and doesn't peter out after a promising start like swine flu."
However, the film received only a lukewarm review from Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, which said it did not match Baron Cohen's previous effort, "Borat."
"Some running gags - including one involving the adoption of an African baby - fizzle out without any comic spark on display," the newspaper said, adding that some stunts looked "suspiciously staged."
The Sydney Morning Herald questioned why Baron Cohen, at his press conference, banned questions about his Australian fiancee Isla Fisher and the removal of a scene relating to Michael Jackson.
"For someone who has found success putting people on the spot, the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was not so happy to have the roles reversed," it said. - AFP/ar