No one does satire better than Sacha Baron Cohen. After a 14-year break, Cohen revives Kazakhstan's now-fourth best journalist to expose and critique some of the most famous members of the current political arena.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is a comedic relief from real life, one that everyone could learn from. The movie begins with a beaten-down Borat, who is sent on a quest to deliver Vice President “p---- grabber” Michael Pence a monkey to establish Kazakhstan as a “big man” country like Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un or Vladamir Putin. But the plan goes awry when his daughter arrives alongside the dead monkey.
This Borat movie rings true to the original. American nationalism is still at the core of its critiques, and Cohen refuses to break character. Since the first moviefilm was so popular, however, Cohen has to maneuver around his recognizability by acting as Borat acting as other people. To create a movie that includes so many unique characters played by one person and have it not get confusing or redundant is a feat. Both the writers and director Jason Woliner keep the story fresh, and every scenario heightens the awkward tension.
The real-life characters included in the film are equally, if not more, hilarious than the first. From a couple of Q-Anon bros, to a Jewish woman who is kindhearted in the literal face of oppression, to a delightfully encouraging babysitter, the cast of real people who appear are shocking and sometimes sympathetic.
If there’s a villain in the film, though, it’s former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. He finds himself in a hotel room during a one-on-one interview with Borat’s daughter, during which Borat surprises them both. Giuliani claims the scene was out of context, but his hands are in his pants no matter how you swing it.
The overarching theme in Subsequent Moviefilm, in an around-about kind of way, is community. When Borat learns about the coronavirus pandemic, the conspiracy theorists take him in, “research” Q-Anon and encourage him to find his daughter, who had run off to become a journalist. It shows the good in the people even as it’s making fun of them — clueless about the character or the context.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is a fitting addition to a satire legend’s resume. It includes all the dramatic Borat public nonsense while documenting our out-of-hand politics. Sacha Baron Cohen is doing the world a service by bringing his iconic satirical character back when politics and satire are colliding.