Few in show business are as daring as Sacha Baron Cohen. For years the Jewish comedian has gone out of his way to make us cringe and laugh with his mockumentary style of film in which he portrays fictional characters yet interacts in the real world with oblivious individuals, often getting himself in deep danger and trouble.
Fourteen years after his comedic hit “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” Baron Cohen returns in his grey suit to play Borat in “Borat 2,” officially titled “Borat: Subsequent Movie Film.” Similar to its predecessor, this sequel continues its satirical style that mocks many heinous aspects still prevalent in American culture while also pointing fingers at other parts of the world whose culture has serious human rights issues.
You’ve got to give Baron Cohen credit for exposing so many issues in America both in the Bush years and now in the Trump years. Clearly politically motivated and biased, Baron Cohen tries to expose the more extreme elements of conservatism, at one point heckling Mike Pence at his CPAC speech, another time trying to convince a pro-life doctor to “take a baby out of his daughter” after she accidentally swallows a plastic baby on top of a cupcake.
The film’s premise, admittedly outrageous, revolves around Borat returning from the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan with his fifteen-year-old daughter in an attempt to sell her (yes, sell her) to Mike Pence so that the Trump administration can look favorably on Kazakhstan and join the “club of dictators” that are friends with Trump such as Kim Jung-Un in North Korea and Vladamir Putin in Russia. Throughout his journey to America, the socially inept journalist comes across a number of individuals who reflect the extremes of America, as well as the issues surrounding the coronavirus.
Unafraid to challenge both the sexism found in most countries like Kazakhstan and the stains of bigotry in America, Baron Cohen does a good job of poking fun at more than one target. Where the comedian struggles is to find new jokes, for the vast majority of the film we’re forced to sit through Borat and his daughter reminding us of how women are viewed as objects in Kazakhstan. While funny at times, the overwhelming energy that Baron Cohen adds to the screen can get tiresome, and after running the same joke for a half-hour, the film gets tired.
There are admittedly several uncomfortably funny scenes that involve oblivious conservatives interacting with the outlandish character, yet outside of these scenes, Baron Cohen doesn’t seem to be able to find a joke outside of his daughter’s lack of individualism.
When things take a turn for the worse at attempting to sell her to Mike Pence, that’s where Rudy Giuliani comes in, whose scene has made headways for his shall we say “odd” behavior with the girl. It’s a scene that makes you wonder just how such a thing happened and is hands down the shining star of the sequel.
In a world where everything seems to be dismal due to the global circumstances surrounding the coronavirus, having a refreshingly funny and brutally honest set of eyes bring out the lunacy and chaos of the world we live in is a guilty pleasure and a wonderful treat.
While this wild comedy is definitely out there, it gets redundant after a while and fails to stay humorous throughout. Despite the tiresome energy and pervasive vulgarity, there’s no denying that this is one of the most entertaining movies of 2020 and a clever take on the issues surrounding modern-day American politics and culture.
Final Grade: B-