2006 was the year of ‘Borat’ when it comes to comedy films. ‘Very Nice’ was the go-to joke for any high school jokester, and the strange allure of the mustachioed Kazakhstanian journalist had taken actor Sacha Baron Cohen to new heights in his career. Yes, ‘Da Ali-G Show’ released in 2000 was where the character debuted, along with other Sacha Baron Cohen characters such as ‘Bruno’, who also ended up getting their film debut in 2009 (though, not as successful). I was one of the high school kids who loved the film, and even as recently as last night feel that the film holds up (although, not completely). I was ‘very excite’ once I saw the news a sequel was coming, and the trailer showcasing Baron Cohen dressed in a semi-authentic Donald Trump costume and slinging a young woman over his shoulders as a ‘gift’ to Mike Pence, was all I needed to be excited about the film.
The story follows up after the failure of ‘Borat’s’ previous journey to America, Kazakhstan is now calling on ‘Borat’ again to come to America, this time to present a ‘gift’ to Mike Pence. ‘Borat’ is assisted by the help of his estranged daughter, ‘Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev’, and the two of them will have to learn to connect to bring pride to the country of Kazakhstan. The film is broken up into what feels like three long episodes of ‘The Ali-G Show’ focused on ‘Borat’s’ character and his relationship with his daughter, and I found myself not only laughing about as much as the first film, but feeling like the sequel has more heartwarming moments that could make people enjoy it more than the original.
For a comedy sequel that is 10+ years apart from its original, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ feels like a natural extension to the first in ways that other comedy sequels don’t. I loved Sacha Baron Cohen in this, but the standout for me has got to be his daughter, played by Irna Novak. Based on IMDB it appears that this is her film debut and she nails the tone and humor of the movie. Her dynamic with Sacha Baron Cohen feels natural and there is some fantastic improvisational skills on display in their scenes together and separated.
With Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy style there are always political themes and that’s no exception here. If anything, ‘Borat Subsequent Movefilm’ is more divisive and more eye-opening than what many of his fans might be prepared for. There are some not surprising yet still shocking reveals, as well as some unexpected and jaw-dropping moments that I’m sure will be trending on Twitter the minute the film is released to the public. Part of the film takes place in real-time during the pandemic as well, however, it’s unclear to me if the movie had had to adjust to the pandemic of if it was written and crafted during the time where the writers could anticipate some of the unexpected parts of 2020. That may be a testament to how well they can improvise with it and melt the original story concepts with what they had to work with base on the circumstances.
The film’s pacing is very rushed in the first half, and while funny throughout does suffer from having to move around so much in the first act making it feel more episodic than theatrical. But overall, I had a ‘very nice’ time watching ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’. It isn’t for everybody however if you enjoy the style of comedy from the original I think you will like this one as well.
I’m giving ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ a 7.5/10