Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Review: Additional Cultural Learnings From Our Favorite Khazakhstan Reporterman

Release date: October 23, 2020
Running time: 96 minutes
Starring: Starring Sacha Baron Cohen & Irina Nowak
Directed: by Jason Woliner

Borat is back, and this time he is trying to curry favor on behalf of the once glorious nationi of Khazakhstan.  In BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Borat must travel back to America to attempt to give a gift to Michael Pence.  However, when the gift gets damaged in transport, Borat must come up with a new plan to curry favor, one involving his daughter and those in power.

If you saw the original Borat, then you know what you are getting with Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.  Borat plays on stereotypes of Eastern Europeans as a backwards, superstitious, and primitive nation.  And Borat Subsequent Moviefilm keeps that trend alive with Borat again learning about technology, women's liberation, and other "modern" concepts.  And the formula works still.  Borat is very funny and his ridiculous antics will make you chuckle as well as respect Sacha Baron Cohen and Irina Nowak for their commitment to the roles.  The pair do some crazy things in this film in public and you have to think that this is not an easy feat to pull off.  And the film also has some funny callbacks to the original movie that fans of the first film will enjoy seeing.

But I think the biggest issue with the film is that America has changed in the intervening years between Borat and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.  The things that were said and exposed in the original Borat were shocking when they came out.  People were genuinely surprised that Americans could think and say the things that happened in the film.  However, in the last four years, a large subset of Americans have become bolder and more outspoken in their hatred and that has translated into less shock value for this film.  To be fair, there are many shocking moments and some very elaborate pranks pulled off; but I was no longer surprised that people said what they said on the camera.  And whereas the first film was more about racism, this film skews more on the political spectrum.  There are still racist parts, but it is a large part focused on politics and sexism.  And I did also wonder how much of the film was scripted.  There are some parts of the film that are clearly reality TV, but there are also some parts that seem too perfect. Especially the scenes during COVID, I can't imagine that there were not permits and other requirements that had to get approved to do some of this work.  But if you can put that aside, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm keeps much of what made the first film so enjoyable while tackling new, modern American issues.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm keeps much of what made the first film such a crazy, funny experience while tackling some new, modern American issues.  However, the shock value that was characteristic of the first movie just doesn't have as much impact this time around.

Rent it.

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is available to stream on Amazon Prime starting October 23.  If you want to attend a special early screening on October 22, RSVP here

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