Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Unofficially this is Borat 2, but officially the unadulterated title of this effort is Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The silly title is one of the funniest jokes. This is of course the sequel to Borat, a movie that came out in 2006.

It’s more of the same. If you’re familiar with his schtick, actor Sacha Baron Cohen interacts with the public as the Borat character to get them to say and do embarrassing things. The “story” here is that Borat journeys to America to offer his daughter Tutar as a gift to Vice President Mike Pence in order to redeem Kazakhstan in the eyes of America. Why not the president? Because apparently, he couldn’t get close enough to make him a part of this production. Although Cohen wears a Trump disguise in one segment. Mike Pence briefly appears unflappable from afar. Sasha Baron Cohen can no longer dupe individuals as Borat. He’s too recognizable. The script acknowledges this fact early on so he dons other disguises to portray individuals on the sidelines. As such, the real star is actress Maria Bakalova who plays Borat’s daughter. She is absolutely fearless in her pursuit of comedy. She displays some genuine acting chops in the process as well. Her admirable commitment to the role is a high point.

Comedy is extremely subjective. This is a slapdash effort where most of the antics revolve around cringe-inducing humor. Targets include a cosmetic surgeon, a pastry chef, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and a debutante coach. Some — like the baker for example — appear to be in on the joke. She decorates a chocolate cake at his behest with the phrase “the Jews will not replace us.” She looks amused. In other sketches, the victims practically go out of their way to put Sacha Baron Cohen at ease after he exhibits demeaning antics. It doesn’t speak well of your comedy when you actually feel sorry for the patsy. A particularly disgusting moment involves a father-daughter dance at a debutante ball. That’s all I’ll reveal about that gross-out scene but consider yourself warned.

There’s really no way to truly review a work like this for the masses. The barometer for me: Is it funny? The short answer is no. While there are a few amusing gags here and there, I didn’t laugh much. A lot has changed since the first film came out 14 years ago. Borat is no longer shocking. Before Cohen was satirizing America in the age of George W Bush. Now it’s Donald Trump where people openly say and do things on social media that are far more scandalous. Furthermore, we currently live in an America where people on both sides of the political spectrum are murdered for espousing their beliefs. There is nothing presented here that is as outrageous as what’s routinely on the nightly news. The complexity of our current political climate demands a more cogent satire. This movie is content to simply mock American cluelessness. Business as usual isn’t enough.

10-23-20

2 Responses to “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

  1. I remember enjoying the first one. This was just not funny. Like you’ve said, we’ve seen it all before. The welcome was worn out. 2 ⭐️

    Like

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