Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova, Dani Popescu
Director: Jason Woliner
Running Time: 96 mins
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is an American film and the sequel to Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. 14 years after his last trip to the USA, Borat is sent back to deliver a special gift to the Vice President Michael Pence.
Crude, shrill and offensive, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes everything you loved about the crazy original and brings it back to life in brilliantly refreshing fashion. With 14 years having passed since his first adventure in the USA, Borat’s return to the States feels entirely new once again, this time taking on the politics of the day while telling a surprisingly heartfelt story.
In fact, that’s the biggest difference between the first movie and this sequel. While the story mostly follows Borat’s awkward encounters with everyday Americans once again, this movie has a far stronger narrative, as we follow the development of Borat’s relationship with his 15 year-old daughter.
Touching on issues of sexism and feminism, this movie goes further than purely recreating the original’s comedy but with a double act, instead telling a genuinely engaging and surprisingly heartfelt story about a young woman discovering the wider world and all the possibilities that lie ahead of her.
Of course, that slightly more emotional streak is still secondary to the movie’s humour, but it’s really nice to see in what I expected to be a pretty similar rerun of the original film, adding real depth where it was definitely needed.
So, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm isn’t quite as loose or random as its predecessor, proving more of a fictional story than just a series of crazy pranks. In some ways, that’s a real benefit as I’ve mentioned above, but then again it doesn’t quite have the same risqué nature of the original.
Where this movie falls down in comparison is that Borat’s encounters with everyday Americans feel a lot more staged and set-up than last time round. Of course, many were staged in the first film, and some in this movie aren’t, but the situations he finds himself in never feel as organic as in the original, which almost played out like a documentary.
Saying that, however, the movie loses none of its risqué qualities when it comes to the humour. Once again full of crude and offensive comedy of the highest order, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is fantastically funny and brilliantly uncomfortable at its very best.
Coupled with yet more incisive and brave take-downs of the current political order and the events of 2020, the movie has a lot to say, and does so in the most ridiculous way, with more than enough great gags to keep you laughing all the way through.
Sacha Baron Cohen is on top form once again in the lead role, while Maria Bakalova is equally brilliant as his daughter, getting into some really quite shocking situations where keeping in character seems almost impossible.
Both work fantastically together as a father-daughter duo, and Bakalova is able to make her character her own, without just playing a younger female version of Borat.
So, with hilarious humour, great performances, more offensive and crude gags, incisive political satire, a surprisingly heartfelt story and an amazing twist ending, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is just as funny as its legendary predecessor from start to finish, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.9 overall.