It’s been 14 years since the character of Borat hit the street and screens giving fans and civilians the most cringe worthy situations and interviews. The character made famous by Sacha Baron Cohen was retired in 2007 because he transformed into a mega star leaving only a very few to not recognize him when roaming the streets looking to involve someone in a prank. Fast forward 13 years to 2020 when the world has been the strangest it’s ever been and what’s even stranger is the fact that Sacha Baron Cohen made a sequel to his outrageously successful feature in complete secret.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm seemingly came out of nowhere. While the world quarantine’s Sacha Baron Cohen made a feature length film. Leading up the release amateur videos surfaced of Borat driving a car which got us all speculating. Could we be getting a sequel? Turns out yes, yes, we are. But the real questions are was this decision a good one to put this out there and could a sequel gain the same kind of audience and love the first one had?
The answers to those questions could come across as divisive and subjective based on how you felt about the first Borat film. If this is your introduction to the character and didn’t see the first one you might think this style of pranking mixed with a mockumentary is the best form of comedy or you could have grown up with the first and think this gimmick is overused and tiresome. This film is a mix of both feelings. The decision to release it now looks like a political ploy given the plot to give Tutar, Borat’s daughter (Maria Bakalova) to the Vice President of the United States Mike Pence as a gift.
The plan was originally to give a dancing monkey to the VP but Tutar saw an opportunity for a better life out of Kazakhstan and took full advantage. Its pretty mind blowing that majority of the people that interact with Borat and Tutar don’t recognize them nor realize how weird and childish these pranks and gimmicks are. The entire movie feels like a long episode of punk’d. The sequel attempted to recapture the magic, but lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place leaving this film more underwhelming than it’s predessor. Some of the pranks given how the landscape of society has changed over the year’s ala #metoo feel out of place and just hard to get through while others are just disgusting and in poor taste. It’s hard to believe these people didn’t know they were getting pranked.
Where this film works is the relationship between Borat and Tutar. It’s strangely charming and heartwarming watching their relationship blossom and grow from where the film starts and where it ends. Yeah there are ups and downs, but the overall arc of their relationship works even with the backwards thinking that Borat is raised with and subsequently passes down to his children.
Before the film’s release photos leaked that involved a prank on Rudy Giuliani. The prank involved Borat giving Tutar as a “gift” to Giuliani Where Giuliani is found in a hotel room with the 15-year-old Tutar and his hand down his pants. Given the controversy that surrounded this one particular scene the entire movie you can’t help but wonder when it will pop up. It almost takes you out of the current gimmick he’s pulling on some poor random person.
This film wasn’t really necessary, but it still pokes fun at the current administration as it could potentially be seen as a ploy to swing voters in a certain direction. Or it could anger and infuriate a large group of people, guess it all depends on your personal beliefs. Compared to the first Borat film this one doesn’t have the same amount of gut busting laugher but there are some good laughs throughout. The way they involved the Covid-19 virus is a fun take as Borat is patient zero and is the one spreading the virus around the globe.
Maybe it’s time to retire this character and universe for good. Sacha is too well known to be making up characters and pulling pranks on people. He truly shines as his titular character but his still as a performer may be in more dramatic roles as such with his role in The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Overall, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm feels unnecessary. We’ve seen this gimmick before, and the shine feels rusted and worn off in the sequel. Borat’s relationship with his daughter offer the best moments of the film as she is given the spotlight. The pranks are hit and miss given your sense of humor and there are some funny jokes throughout but it wouldn’t have been a bad thing to let the original Borat film be a standalone film. If I were to rate Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, I’d rate it a 2.9 out of 5.
So, tell me guys, have you seen Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is directed by Jason Woliner is Rated R and has an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was released on October 23, 2020 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm can be streamed on Amazon Prime.
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