Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is the unexpected, shot-in-secret sequel to the 2006 film that became a huge hit. Sacha Baron Cohen returns and the shot-on-the-fly style is retained but this time around Borat is a well-known character. The film has some fun with this but mainly addresses it with a more narrative approach. That's right, there is a story to this one.
The first film was built around Borat exposing celebrities and politicians who didn't know they were being had. He exposed racism among other things. In 2020, 14 years later, racism is easily exposed and many of the targets can't be shamed in the same way. Still, the film is very funny and welcomed in a year with few laughs. If you are planning to watch the film, check it out ASAP on Amazon Prime pronto. The final thirty minutes have something involving a prominent political figure that will likely be the topic of much discussion despite it likely not changing how people view him.
The plot is built around the fact that the first film made Kazakhstan the laughing stock of America. Borat is now hated in his homeland and is only sent to America again in hopes of restoring some honor to the country. The plan is to give Michael Pence a monkey, one of the biggest stars in Kazakhstan. Plans are thwarted when Borat's daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) sneaks into the shipping container with the monkey and eats him. Tutar, 15-years-old, is to be a bride to Pence. All she wants is to be like Princess Melania and marry an old rich man who will buy her a fancy cage to live in. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm aims a lot of its humor at misogyny and women's rights.
Bakalova is the film's secret weapon. Borat has to disguise himself in ridiculous ways. These bad costumes undermine some of his attempts at goating people. Tutar is a new character and as a result, can get away with a lot more. Bakalova is fearless and takes the film's two biggest laughs home with her. One involves an inappropriate but utterly hilarious dance at a Southern debutante ball. The other is the aforementioned interview with a current political figure. She is nothing short of amazing in these moments. The interview itself would be enough to build a movie without Borat.
The middle section of the film has enough laughs to make this well worth your time. Covid had an obvious effect on the film. Cohen clearly had another ending in mind but cleverly pivots to react to the pandemic. The film is an odd reminder of how much has changed this year. Seeing the film in a packed theater full of comedy fans would have been a great experience. Watching at home is fun but not nearly the same.