Friday, October 23, 2020

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Movie Review

Make Borat great again.

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan seemed like lightning in a bottle. Something that can’t be repeated and the humour wouldn’t translate to another year. Oh, how wrong that was. Sacha Baron Cohen and his fellow Borat writers and producers have made a true comedy sequel. One that picks up where the original left off and made it funnier and more relevant to today.   2020

Directed by: Jason Woliner

Story by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Nina Pedrad

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan improves on the original with a more structured plot and the introduction of Maria Bakalova as Borat’s daughter Tutar. Instead of just going to America, this time there’s a more coherent thread driving the movie forward. In order to redeem his reputation in Kazakhstan, Borat must deliver a present to world leader Donald Trump to endear him to the country of Kazakhstan. This present was supposed to be Johnny the Monkey, unfortunately for reasons I’ll let you discover, Johnny didn’t make the trip, but daughter did.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm courtesty of Amazon Studios.
Borat and daughter make their way first to Mike Pence but when that doesn’t work out (because out of all the Republicans in this movie, Pence comes across as the most reasonable), his target shifts to Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani’s claims that THAT scene wasn’t originally in the movie and was edited in after just before release, yeah, he’s lying. That was the pinnacle scene of the movie. Everything led to it, and it appropriately served as the turning point to wrap up the father-daughter/return-Kazakhstan-to-once glorious-nation story.

At the beginning, too many people recognized Borat (thank you, Americans), and so he donned a disguise, but the disguises came and went throughout the film, probably depending on whether or not his "victims" would recognize him. There are just as many victims (ie, people perfectly willing to reveal their ignorance and prejudices on camera) the second time around. People who just go along with putting women in cages (and killing gypsies -- again), a salon owner making recommendations for racism, a cake designer accepting anti-Semitism, a dress store owner who thinks rape is funny (and has just the dress for that), and even after all that, the one moment that I still stared at in disbelief: a doctor who didn’t even flinch at a father impregnating his 15-year-old daughter, and definitely didn't call the authorities.

America today, people, it’s significantly worse than fourteen years ago. Which means that Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is even funnier. It’s also more structured with a better plot and just consistent throughout it’s entire run time. It also has a great tie-in to the current pandemic. Oh and releasing it hours earlier than announced at the same time as the debate: genius. This time next year, Sacha Baron Cohen will be an Oscar winner (although probably for The Trial of the Chicago 7) and Maria Bakalova will be the biggest name in comedy. High five!