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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm - Movie Review

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

So, let’s get this out of the way, right off the top: No, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is not as funny as the first one. However, it is damn funny and might very well be a more important film.

"Cohen’s bold shenanigans are laugh-out-loud hilarious and frequently offensive, yet always smart as a whip"


Of course, the film is the follow-up to Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2006 mockumentary Borat, and even though the character has gotten a bit long in the tooth in the fourteen years that have passed since he made neon-green mankinis all the rage, thanks to America’s current political climate, the same idiocracy and absurdity on display is as fresh as ever.

Since shaming his homeland with the events that took place in the original, Borat Margaret Sagdiyev (Cohen), the #4 journalist in all of Kazakhstan, has found himself in the gulag in his home country. But upon being offered a reprieve by his country’s thuggish leader (Dani Popescu) who has become jealous at not having the opportunity to pal around with America’s president Trump like so many other thuggish leaders, Borat accepts the challenge and sets out for the U.S. and A. for his chance at redemption. The film’s official title Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan sums up the mission quite eloquently.

Borat Subsequent MoviefilmAs was the previous one, this movie is filmed guerrilla style with the biting comedic bits creatively interspersed throughout the scripted parts with the latter taking a bit larger role this time around.

Though filming was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, it didn’t stop production. In fact, the opposite as one segment features the ever-gullible Borat quarantining with a couple of QAnon bros in their isolated cabin. Comic absurdity is served up on a silver Covid quarantine platter as production rolls.

As Borat’s original assignment in America falls apart, he pivots to an alternate plan which is to present his teen daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) as a gift to someone close to the throne which he hopes will bring honor and peace to his native Kazakhstan. The recipient of his gift turns out to be American Vice President Mike Pence. The remainder of the film is driven by their quest, which culminates at a CPAC conference headlined by Pence. It’s a wonder that Cohen manages to escape these pranks unharmed, including one in which he had to avoid an angry crowd by escaping in an ambulance

A couple of things stand out in this second visit to Borat’s misadventures. One is newcomer Maria Bakalova who goes all in with her performance as a young woman looking to better herself the only way she has been taught: by “allowing men to grab her by the vagine.” During interviews before the film was released, Cohen points out that he wants the film to “remind women who they are voting for.”

The Bulgarian actress turns in an impressive performance and absolutely holds her own against Cohen, particularly in a scene that takes place at a debutante ball in front of shocked attendees and in another segment which takes place at a Christian crisis pregnancy center where we are privy to an extended conversation with a doctor who is led to believe that Tutar is seeking an abortion when in reality, she wants to have a tiny baby tchotchke removed after from her stomach after swallowing it.

Another observation that stands out this time around is how little the content shocks us with its overt sexism, racism, and anti-semitism played to high humor. Not sure what that says about us as a society, but it’s probably not good.

What is certain, however, is that Cohen’s bold shenanigans are laugh-out-loud hilarious and frequently offensive, yet always smart as a whip as they skewer conservative Americans and the ideals they hold dear. There’s something unsettling seeing ourselves constantly buried in our phones while harboring an extreme distrust of anything that poses a challenge to our own personal paradigms. Certainly a dangerous place for a society to be, but undoubtedly a target rich environment for Borat’s brand of crafty humor. And in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm he rarely misses the target.

4/5 stars

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Blu-ray

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Available on Blu-ray

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong crude and sexual content, graphic nudity, and language.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Jason Woliner
Writer:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines
Cast:
Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova, Tom Hanks
Genre
: Comedy
Tagline:
Wear mask. Save live.
Memorable Movie Quote: "My daddy is the smartest person in the whole flat world!"
Theatrical Distributor:
Amazon
Official Site: https://www.thehustle.movie/
Release Date:
October 23, 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Synopsis: Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

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