What do you do when you’re a washed-up has-been who’s last few creations have been trash? You begin to retread over your past, recreating your most popular works – that’s what. Let’s face it: The Dictator and Grimsby were utter shite, so Sacha Baron Cohen has recently been trying to recapture his noughties heyday, fistly with Who Is America? (which attempted to be another Ali G Show) and now we have a sequel to his most famous film Borat. Unfortunately for Cohen, Borat 2, like Who Is America? (and Sacha himself) is past-it.
In and amongst Marc Wootton, Jocelyn Jee Esien, and Dom Jolly, Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters fitted-in but in the present day, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm feels outdated, not to mention scripted. The main issue is that because almost everything feels faked or staged, it’s not uncomfortable to watch. I mean, there’s a camera crew there to document the obvious absurdity and people must have to sign some sort of waiver. And what happened to common sense? What do the public think is happening? The menstruation at the debutante ball is so over-the-top, surely it was edited together from two different events? (as was I assume, the Mike Pence interaction). I mean why would a “Computer Guy” or an Instagram influencer be unaware or oblivious to such obvious pranks? A cake decorator icing “Jews will not replace us” has to be in on the joke, surely? And if not, then the direction is terrible.
After opening with clips of Borat’s first outing, we have a tone of “let’s try to recreate the first flick” or “let’s try to out-do the original”! So instead of long-titled Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan we have longer-titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery Of Prodigious Bribe To American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan. Sadly for fans, this is not anywhere near the level of the first movie, which is saying something because it was overrated pish.
This is a mockumentary that yet again, mocks people we already know are wankers. Right-wing Yanks you say? What an exclusive scoop! The irony however, is the fact that in order to call attention to bigots, Sacha Baron Cohen himself pretends to be one, but by becoming one, he proves he’s also a bigot.
Racism is apparently okay because Kazakhstan is quite low-down in the public’s priority when it comes to bigotry. Had someone “satirised” an Islamophobic, anti-black, Israeli television personality, complete with any national stereotypes, this mockumentary would not be received too well. But after post-9/11, anti-Arab prejudice and recent anti-Russian sentiment, the West thinks countries such as “The Stans” are acceptable targets. Gulags and torture may possibly be an accurate portrayal of Kazakhstan but unibrows (his daughter’s), bestiality (porn star Johnny The Monkey), and inferred or mistaken incest (his daughter again) are not-so-good old-fashioned xenophobia.
Similar to the central premise of Midsommar which came across as archaic in the present day, this Borat follow-up also comes across as dated. Like its creator, the middle-aged Sacha Baron Cohen, this film no longer fits into a modern-day society which is currently trying to push-back against racism. Anyone making excuses for this crap (it’s satire!) is a miserable old cunt; the kind of wrinkly racist who enjoyed Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen and who rants on social media about people who “can’t take a joke” (especially when they’re minorities). You can now group these confused codgers with the kind of dicks who yell “liberal snowflake” and “SJW” at anyone who criticises their bigoted idols but who take offence at any anti-Trump gag – basically hypocritical morons. Speaking of hypocritical, Cohen wants to be woke one minute (by starring in The Trial Of The Chicago 7) but then contribute to bigotry the other. Like most fake-liberal, pro-Democrats, Baron Cohen wants you to hate Trump but vote for Biden who isn’t a better human or a better potential president. We’re either living in confused times or most people, whether left or right-wing are ballbags.
Why this film was ever made is anyone’s guess. Here’s something we’re short of: poking fun at Donald Trump and Mike Pence. And what about Rudy Giuliani? I remember him being a hero to most fake-patriotic, Islamophobic twats after September 11th, the same twats who loved Cohen’s portrayal of middle-eastern-slash-south-Asian Borat in a post-9/11 world. Oh how disoriented the public must feel.
The other problem is that Borat is an endearing character in some ways, which could make people warm to his “satirical” stance. Like all failed or fake-satire from Al Murray to Canibus to Sarah Silverman, is Cohen sure that viewers at home aren’t sympathising with his anti-Semitism? And if not, then what’s so brilliant about viewers laughing at prejudiced stereotypes about “backward” Asian countries? Nothing, it turns out. Like I said, this film just isn’t funny.
Back to the contents of this movie: goading people into a Nazi salute doesn’t work, the mask-kini is spoiled by the promotional poster, and The Usual Suspects, original-movie-backlash finale is contrived. Okay, so the Melania Disney-esque fairytale, the “not suitable for people under 3” disclaimer, the “spit roast creampie” Google search, the “where is the ‘no means yes section’?” comment, and texting via fax are all slightly humourous but nothing coaxes out an actual laugh which is important for a frigging comedy.
I’ll point out that Amazon ruined the subtitles on the device I watched this on. Either that or we weren’t supposed to know what was supposedly being said in Kazakhstani (or Yiddish). Regardless, there were no laugh-out-loud or belly-laugh moments. Make no mistake: this is yet another shite sequel. Like another middle-aged movie misery Bill & Ted Face The Music, Borat now also has a daughter, character Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev… yawn. Played by Irina Nowak, a 39 year-old pretending to be a 15 year-old is about as believable as some of the film’s set-ups. Her solo interactions feel like a promo-reel for a spin-off (god forbid) or she’s only introduced into the movie so she could interview Giuliani who wouldn’t fall for a grilling by Borat.
As I’ve already said; Borat 2 feels too scripted, and given that the screenplay was written by eight people, it’s literally too scripted. Most of the flick consists of Borat and his sprog going from random place to random place, most of the time in disguise, almost like a shit sketch show. This is probably because the filmmakers (and us at home) know the film’s actual premise of tricking Mike Pence is not going to happen; an impending anticlimax kinda like Louis Theroux‘ Scientology Movie. Hey, if Borat’s Subsequent Moviefilm is a flop, Sacha Baron Cohen could always get a part in those new Asda adverts as Sunny’s identical twin. But fuck know’s how this so-called “liberal” would stereotype that character given what he’s done with Ali G, Borat, Bruno, and General Aladeen.