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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm review: Does the sequel restore greatness to Kazakhstan?

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat talking to stranger.
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat talking to stranger. Pic credit: Amazon Studios

This weekend Borat returns to hold a mirror to the ugliest areas of American culture. The new sequel titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm takes aim at the current administration and the surrounding atmosphere in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in America.

This time, Borat is out to make an offering to the Vice President of the United States and along the journey, Borat learns way too much about the people he encounters.

The last film which was ingeniously executed by Sacha Baron Cohen as the title character became a legendary classic. But will the sequel prove the same?

Here is our Borat Subsequent Moviefilm review and whether it will restore greatness to Kazakhstan.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm review

In the sequel, Borat is sent on a mission by his government to get close to the Trump administration to gain the favor of the President and his Vice President, Mike Pence. The original plan involves giving the gift of a celebrity monkey from Kazakhstan.

But once he arrives, he ends up discovering his daughter Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev (Maria Bakalova) has hijacked the monkey crate. This forces Borat to have his daughter involved in the bribery of Mike Pence.

The movie contains all the usual shenanigan from the famous character with Borat himself being a representation of everything wrong with our culture in the embodiment of a satirical character.

And needless to say, Borat as a persona hasn’t changed much in his viewpoints. He’s still antisemitic and over-the-top in his misogyny. Plus, he still wants those “Gypsy tears.”

But unlike the original, the character actually goes through growth in this sequel which gives it an extra layer of charm. Most of this is all thanks to Maria Bakalova, who absolutely steals the show.

Her character forces Borat to confront his own extremely ludicrous viewpoints of women. And their journey is the heart and soul of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Pic credit: Amazon Studios

Maria Bakalova is such a breakout in this movie, holding her own with Cohen. It’s amazing to witness because this is undoubtedly the beginning of a rising star.

The situations that she executes with Cohen require a great deal of strength not to break character. And she has some of the wildest moments in the sequel. But most readers are probably aware of that considering the leaks this week.

As far as the pranks and the traps Cohen sets up for his unsuspecting victims, the shock is dialed down some in this sequel. For example, there is nothing as eye-popping as two grown men running through a hotel lobby and banquet room fully naked and fighting.

However, in place of shock is comedy. This sequel has many more moments of laughter than its predecessor. And the fact Cohen is able to get individuals to do these things on camera will never cease to amaze viewers.

This is not to say the sequel is not shocking (because it is). It’s just mindblowing for entirely different reasons and this is mostly because the film is trying to confront the ugly side of politics.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat. Pic credit: Amazon Studios

What makes Borat Subsequent Moviefilm a better sequel compared to the original film is the fact Sacha Baron Cohen somehow made this feel like a story with a beginning, middle, and an end, a sequel that stands alone. And the pranks themselves become part of the narrative.

This had to be insanely difficult to pull off and one has to question, “What would have happened if a prank failed?” or “someone didn’t agree to meet with their film crew?” It would be interesting to hear all of the back-up plans Cohen had in mind if something did not work out.

And the narrative itself is unexpectedly tender for a movie trying to troll the political landscape. As stated, the heart and soul of this movie is the relationship between Borat and his daughter. The addition of their relationship brings the whole thing home,

And with all the negativity in our political landscape as well as culture– it’s an achievement that the movie itself lands on such an endearing note.

Overall Thoughts

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm delivers on the same scale as the original and arguably is better than its predecessor. Once again, Sacha Baron Cohen manages to use Borat as a reflection of America and its political landscape.

The film even manages to add a narrative within its hijinks that has a warmth inside its goofball heart. And this is all thanks to the amazing chemistry shared between Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova.

If viewers loved the original and all of its social and political satire, they will find the sequel a worthy follow-up that more than exceeds expectations.

If readers enjoyed this review, be sure and check out other movie reviews for Netflix’s Rebecca and HBO Max’s new take on The Witches.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

John Dotson is a film and television reviewer and commentator from Texas. His favorite part of what he does is getting to discuss film and... read more
John Dotson


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