2020 I 18+ I 95mins I Dir: Jason Woliner
Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat.
I should probably preface this review by saying how much I love the first film. I've quoted it endlessly with friends over the years and was optimistic about a sequel. The character is just so endearing whilst causing so much controversy and the way he naively interviews people to shine a light on controversial issues through cultural barriers is brilliant. It's so silly at face value but so clever when you scratch beneath the surface, which for me is comedy at its best.
This does provide enough of that to warrant its existence but sadly is simply not as funny as the first film. There is a decision to ditch Borat as a reporter (admittedly cleverly due to his fame from making the first film) which means that the film replaces the interview set ups that helped make the first film feel so genuine. Instead what we have is something that feels far more staged and reality TV-like which sadly made me feel more removed from the awkwardness that is essential to make the jokes land. On top of this we simply see far less of Borat himself due to him being in "disguise" throughout most of the film.
At least it's not a repeat of the first film and some of the new decisions do manage to keep things fresh. The relationship between Borat and his daughter holds some of the films standout moments.
The film feels even more timely than I was expecting and does make me think that it was probably rushed for its release ahead of the US election but is still a great excuse to sit back and have a laugh at the absurdity of todays world.
With big shoes to fill, Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm sadly doesn't pack the same punch as the first film but is still worth the watch on your Amazon Prime subscription.
STARRING: Sacha Baron Cohen, Maria Bakalova
BEST QUOTE: “Only men and bears are allowed inside car."
FUN FACT: Sacha Baron Cohen sat nearly five hours in a toilet stall at the 2020 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) until Vice President Mike Pence was about to appear on stage.
IF YOU LIKED: Bruno, Borat, Who Is America?
'Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm' Trailer