This searing brand of humor has never felt more essential. Blending activism with entertainment, Baron Cohen’s best movie to date gives us new reasons to be afraid of the world, but also permission to laugh at it.
Sacha Baron Cohen remains a fearless and funny comedic force, and Maria Bakalova is hilarious and endearing as Tutar. We also get a clever twist ending and I’ll say no more than that. Borat is an idiot, but “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” ends on a pretty smart note.
The movie’s best moments are the fully scripted ones between Borat and Tutar, who have a genuinely sweet bond forged mostly through crude humor. Cohen seems to understand that the film’s shock value is automatically lower because of how deadened audiences have grown to political satire, so he relies more heavily on sitcom jokes to compensate and largely succeeds.
The outrageous, in-your-face, unexpected shock value humor that characterized this film's predecessor never really impressed me much, and that's largely true here, too. However, this long-awaited sequel has its moments of inspired comedic tastelessness that make the picture something of a modest guilty pleasure, the kind of picture you watch in private, under the covers in your bedroom, lit up by the glow of your portable video device. Some of the novelty is gone now that audiences know the formula that makes the production work, and the audacity that fueled its predecessor somehow doesn't seem quite as comically appalling in an age where we have pervasive social media posts whose sentiments are even more vile than the content presented here. But, when Sacha Baron Cohen and company hit on an inventive gag that works, it really works, in some cases generating laughs even heartier than those that came out of the first film. The biggest gem here is the addition of Maria Bakalova as the protagonist's daughter, who provides some much-needed oomph to the overall tone of the film, delivering a hilarious performance deserving of all the accolades and award nominations she has received. Still, given the state of culture and society these days, it may be time to put the Borat franchise to rest; we don't need any more fuel splashed on the fire, no matter how well-intentioned it might be as biting political commentary -- we have enough of that already, and it's not very funny any more.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s hilarious Kazakh TV host made his first visit to the US 14 years ago. This sequel brings him back with his daughter for more satirical wackiness, which sometimes involves him assuming even more absurd disguises. This outing tries to be as outrageous or shocking as the original and even though it sometime succeeds, it’s seldom as funny. Also, many of the scenarios are so obviously staged that the deadpan reactions of his victims lose their astonishment. The attempts at family warmth just aren’t necessary. I don’t know if we’re more jaded now or if the impact is less effective, but even without as many laffs, there’s still plenty of offensive and extreme fun to be had.
The only time in the film that i felt they touched on the truly awkward reality of the first film was when Borat was being regularly recognised. The rest is farce. Even the touted "controversial" Juliani scene is a flaccid, shoehorned attempt at dressing up a troubled production.