Sasha Baron Cohen returns to skewer ignorant Americans in 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm'

Best of all, creepy Rudy Giuliani gets what he deserves.

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click to enlarge After 14 years, Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen), center, returns to further expose how ignorant, and inherently racist, some Americans really are - Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios
After 14 years, Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen), center, returns to further expose how ignorant, and inherently racist, some Americans really are

Fourteen years is an eternity in Hollywood, but it’s also an opportunity in certain rare cases for audiences to realize just how much they missed a specific character.

With “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” the sequel to 2006’s “Borat,” it barely takes five minutes and several painful bursts of core-shaking belly laughs to appreciate how much you’ve missed Sacha Baron Cohen’s indelible brand of irreverent social satire.

A lot has changed in the world since Cohen first donned his grey suit, bushy mustache and unflappable wonder at the dark depths that everyday humans, caught completely off-guard, are willing to expose.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Run Time: 95 minutes
Now streaming on Amazon Prime

Cohen isn’t just funny; he’s wickedly intelligent. And “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is his full-throttled, full-throated rebuke of the so-called “values” that have polarized America and created giant fissures in basic decency and cogent thought that may never be repaired.

That’s not to say that every frame, every subversive sight gag and outrageous prank, works as well as it did back in 2006. It doesn’t.

But when the jokes land, which is often, viewers will feel as if they’re being pummeled with truth bombs that they can’t help, no matter how they try, but cackle in laughter.

Cohen’s secret weapon this time around is Borat’s fictional daughter, Tutar Sagdiyev (Maria Bakalova), and she basically steals every second of every moment she’s on-screen.

At age 15, Tutar is regarded as the oldest unmarried woman in Kazakhstan. She lives in a rusty cage, but hopes one day to be elevated to a golden gilded cage like her idol, Princess Melania, who is the star of a popular Diseny-esque cartoon about a beautiful immigrant rescued by an orange-hued brute.

“She’s the happiest woman in the world!” Tutar proclaims.

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is not without a surprisingly large amount of cringe-worthy humor. Cohen doesn’t hold back, using Holocaust denial, border separations, anti-Semitism, pedophilia and more to deliver a string of stinging truths.

Here’s the deal, though: The longer you watch, the more you realize Cohen’s brilliance in using a comical character to both expose and educate ignorance from rural Texas to opulent New York. Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but that’s the goal, and over and over, Cohen successfully rams home the fact that Americans on the whole are still racist as fuck for no reason.

click to enlarge Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as Donald Trump, crashes Vice President Mike Pence's speech at the annual CPAC convention. - Amazon Studios
Amazon Studios
Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as Donald Trump, crashes Vice President Mike Pence's speech at the annual CPAC convention.

More surprising is the discovery that “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” is very, very, very much a factual document and an indictment in real-time of the bungled and inept U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sequences filmed in early February at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee (“CPAC”) conference, where Cohen disguises himself as a bloated Donald Trump carrying Tutar over his shoulder as gift for Vice President Mike Pence, are rightfully hysterical and impressive in their audacious execution.

But what really hits home is hearing Pence congratulate himself and the Trump administration, crowing about how, at that time, there had only been one confirmed Covid-19 case in the past two weeks, and just 15 cases nationally overall.

“We’re ready, whatever comes,” Pence is filmed telling the adoring crowd.

For those of us who have not ventured out in public for the past nine months, it’s enough to make your blood boil.

And finally, there’s the Rudy Giuliani sting, which is nothing short of magnificent.

No matter how you try to frame Giuliani’s behavior, his intention is clear. He had no idea, none, that he was being punked. And yes, he was undoing his pants, not tucking in his shirt, as he has since claimed.

If not for the fact that Cohen ran into the room, the former America’s Mayor sure did look like he expected to get busy with a naïve young reporter in a private bedroom suite.

And that’s just shameful.

Not quite as shameful as the world now knowing Sarah Palin is smarter than Giuliani because she got wise to Cohen before her "gotcha" moment.

But, at least, it’s a start.

John W. Allman has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer, but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now a website dedicated to the genre films that often get overlooked and interviews with cult cinema favorites like George A. Romero, Bruce Campbell and Dee Wallace. Contact him at Blood Violence and Babes.com, on Facebook @BloodViolenceBabes or on Twitter @BVB_reviews.

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About The Author

John W. Allman

John W. Allman has spent more than 25 years as a professional journalist and writer, but he’s loved movies his entire life. Good movies, awful movies, movies that are so gloriously bad you can’t help but champion them. Since 2009, he has cultivated a review column and now a website dedicated to the genre films...
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