Borat Subsequent Moviefilm -B
Rated R, 96 minutes
In 2006, the raunchy, hilarious mockumentary "Borat" starring Sacha Baron Cohen (solid in in the recent "The Trial of the Chicago 7") turned mockumentary satire on its head. Borat is back in a sequel, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," continuing his controversial, often outrageous sense of humor. While not exactly an improvement over the first film (which is funnier) and some of its targets a little too obvious, Baron Cohen is still fearless and relevant.
Fourteen years after his first visit, Borat Sagdiyev (Baron Cohen) returns to the United States with his daughter (Maria Bakalova) from Kazakhstan and this time he discovers more about American culture, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020 elections.
Directed by comedy writer and producer Jason Wolinar and co-produced and written by Baron Cohen, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" takes aim again at America, crashing everything from a political rally to a debutante ball. Credit Baron Cohen, whose approach is bold, wide and hardly subtle, for making Borat both humorous and uncomfortable, which could essentially describe much of American culture. You can't help but laugh and cringe when he shows up at a political conference featuring current U.S. President Mike Pence, in a very realistic suit that gets him arrested, or his interaction with two elderly Jewish women in a synagogue.
The "Borat" sequel runs two different (and very loose) storylines: Borat and his daughter interacting with real people in various, uncomfortable situations, and then Borat making outrageous entries into other situations, including a Trump political rally, a Rudy Giuliani interview or as a barber. The film works better in the latter than the former, funnier when Borat is alone, thanks to the fearless comedic skills of Cohen, who's never been one to shy away from anything awkward or even dangerous; speaking of which, that Giuliani appearance is the film's most memorable one and certainly its most controversial.
Baron Cohen has been doing these types of boundary-pushing mockumentaries and satire for years, some working better than others - "Borat" on the good side, "Bruno" and "The Dictator," not as much - and this will be nothing new to his fan base (and they'll know that some of his dramatic turns, such as in the recent aforementioned "Chicago 7" have been just as good). "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" doesn't have as many outrageous laugh-out moments as the first film, but it's still worth a look. It will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video on October 23rd.