Borat Subsequent Moviefilm lives up to the hype

Written By Jake Dabkowski

5/5 Globes


Sequels are difficult. More specifically, sequels to movies that are over a decade old and are considered to be extremely dated are some of the most difficult movies to pull off. 

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan does the impossible by embracing the state of the world rather than confront it. Most pieces of media about Donald Trump feature Trump and the GOP as the villains, but instead Borat believes himself to be on the same side as Trump.

Furthermore, it is apparent that this movie was made up as they went along. The entire first half of the film is set in a pre-COVID United States, with Borat, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, traveling through what he calls “US and A” to find Mike Pence with his daughter, Tutar, played by Maria Bakalova. After an argument, Tutar and Borat split up, leaving Borat with nowhere to go. Then, the film cuts to Borat, standing on an empty street, confused as to where everyone is.

The film’s willingness to adapt itself to what’s happening in the world is what ultimately makes it worth watching. For example, when the lockdown begins, Borat moves in with two QAnon fanatics for five days. Then the three of them attend the March for Our Rights anti-lockdown protests in an attempt to find Tutar.

And that’s the most important part of this movie: Tutar. Everyone knows Baron Cohen is able to improvise in a situation as Borat. He’s been doing this shtick for 23 years. He knows what he’s doing. The whole premise of this movie relies, however, on the chemistry between Bakalova and Baron Cohen, and Bakalova’s ability to improvise. And the good news: she kills it. Any situation she is in, she matches, if not oudoes, Baron Cohen. Most of the funniest jokes of the movie are things that she does. 

The relationship between the two is one of the most interesting elements of this movie: it adds to the movie, which would otherwise be a silly late night comedy, a feel good, wholesome subplot. The main reason that this film is better than the first: it features genuine emotional moments.

This leads into the elephant in the room: the Rudy Giuliani interview. Tutar, who in the film starts a right wing internet news site, interviews former New York mayor and President Trump’s legal council, Rudy Giuliani. Throughout the interview Giuliani makes flirtatious advances towards Tutar, who in the film’s story believes she has to give herself to Giuliani to save Borat from being executed. It’s complicated. Giuliani and Tutar retreat to the bedroom, where Giuliani slips his hand into his pants, before being interrupted by Borat, saving his daughter, because he realizes that what his culture has taught him about women was incorrect, and that Tutar is an independent human being. It’s genuinely bizarre that Borat has a feminist message to it, but it’s executed brilliantly.

Overall, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is a masterpiece of timeliness, and while it might not hold up as well in a post-COVID, post-Donald Trump society, it’s just what the doctor ordered for right now. Very nice!