14 years after the surprise hit “Borat,” in which Sacha Baron Cohen slips into the role of a Kazakh journalist who holds up a dark mirror to the USA, the comedian pulls himself together once again and ups his game BORAT 2: BORAT CONNECTION MOVIE again – only this time with active support. We reveal more about this in our review.
OT: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (UK/USA 2020)
Due to the global success of his documentary “Borat – Cultural Learning of America to Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”, reporter Borat Sagdiyev (Sacha Baron Cohen) has fallen into disgrace in his native Kazakhstan: Because his homeland looks stupid in the box office hit, It was decided to put him in the Gulag as the person responsible for this documentation. 14 years later comes the unexpected pardon: Borat is supposed to travel to the US&A to present Kazakhstan’s most famous monkey and porn star Johnny to President Donald Trump, so that Kazakhstan’s leadership moves into Trump’s inner circle of confidants. A film team is supposed to accompany Borat’s mission. But Borat realizes that it has become incredibly difficult to film a documentary about the US&A. And when his daughter Tutar (Marija Bakalova) gets involved, an odyssey begins, as a result of which Borat not only has to constantly change the working title of his film, but also makes astonishing discoveries about himself, his worldview and Donald Trump’s trusted lawyer…
After all the sometimes completely stupid parodies and imitations of “Borat – Cultural Learning of America to Benefit the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”, it is sometimes difficult to remember what a (deserved) phenomenon Larry Charles’ box office hit was 2006 was. The bold mixture of flat-out comedy, satirical social commentary and hidden camera stunt offers a fireworks display of quotable sayings and wonderfully absurd scenes – and an unmasking of US society was chosen in the equally shrill and shameful form that “Borat” chose has never been done on this scale before. And then the film came out in the last third of Bush Junior’s presidency – exactly the right time for this recipe to become a sensation around the globe.
Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) needs a vehicle to transport his daughter Tutar.
The fact that Sacha Baron Cohen is now bringing Borat back comes as a surprise: After the first part, it was said that Cohen was mothballing the character originally created for “Da Ali G Show” because no one would fall for her anymore. Instead of a second “Borat” film, a film in the same style about the homosexual reporter Brüno (also known from “Da Ali G Show”) followed in 2009. In 2018, Cohen tried out numerous new characters in the documentary series “Who is America?” out of. When Cohen’s first actions, which can now be seen in “Borat 2: Borat Connection Moviefilm”, became public, many media portals concluded that a second season of the ruthless HBO series was in the works, in which Cohen made outrageous things to his interviewees Statements elicited. The “revival” of Borat naturally makes “Borat 2” a very easily marketable film – Borat simply remains Cohen’s best-known and probably most popular creation. So the temptation to bring him back is understandable. But Borat’s return inevitably brings with it an aftertaste: There are several passages in “Borat 2: Borat Connection Moviefilm” in which the question arises as to whether what is really happening is completely fictional or whether Borat’s counterpart sees through the act but plays along in amusement , very clearly imposed.
“The “revival” of Borat naturally makes “Borat 2” a very easily marketable film – Borat simply remains Cohen’s best-known and arguably most popular creation.”
This takes some of the revealing bite out of some scenes. However, you have to have director Jason Woliner (“The Last Man on Earth”), Sacha Baron Cohen and the army of authors who created “Borat 2” have the following: They bridle up a lot of scenes around Borat in which it is of little importance whether they are authentic. Yes, there are also idle times and sequences in which the “Is that real? I do not know…”-The aftertaste is harmful. However, the following often applies: When Borat appears as himself, it is in completely fictional sketches or (mostly) in hidden camera moments that primarily aim to score points with Borat’s strange behavior. Whether a fax service employee, for example, takes Borat’s ridiculous communication with his government for granted or sees through the number and simply plays along is secondary or third-rate, since the punchlines of these scenes are hidden in the faxes, which also drive the film’s central plot thread . In a large part of the film, Borat disguises himself, which not only gives us the viewing pleasure of seeing Cohen play Borat, who pretends to be another person while trying to deceive those around him. It also results in some memorable exchanges, some just weird (for example, when an employee of a beauty clinic says with the patience of an angel which perverts are allowed in the operating room and which are not), others revealing (keyword: abortion advice).
Every now and then Sacha Baron Cohen is recognized as Borat.
But even though “Borat 2” offers several such moments and is worth watching alone (at least for curious Amazon Prime members), the word “revealing” also contains one of the criticisms of this 96-minute comedy: “ Borat Connection Moviefilm” simply loses a significant amount of the fascination that made up the original 14 years ago. In 2020, it has become much more difficult to continue to shock the US by unmasking itself. This is both because the problems of racism, sexism, intolerance and ignorance simmering beneath the surface in the United States became even more obvious in the Trump years, and because in the current media age we are constantly confronted with America’s ugly face – and not as sporadically as in 2006. For new insights or at least fresh shock moments you have to dig very deep (like in “Who is America?”) – and in “Borat 2” that only happens sporadically.
“But even if “Borat 2” offers several such moments and is worth watching just for them, the word “revealing” is also one of the criticisms of this comedy.”
But even if “Borat Connection Moviefilm” no longer has the flash and sensational factor of the first film, this sequel has something that part one didn’t have: Marija Bakalowa (also spelled: Maria Bakalova). The Bulgarian “Gomorrah” and “Transgression” actress is the scene stealer par excellence in this sequel. She keeps up with Cohen with absolute ease, she is his equal in this highly difficult art of hilarious overacting in real scenes of deception. Whether she’s texting conservative women, touching her babysitter, or leading Rudy Giuliani to ruin his reputation even further, Bakalova is almost a force of nature in this film and one can only hope that she’s still blessed with a brilliant career.
Conclusion: “Borat 2: Borat Connection Moviefilm” cannot keep up with its predecessor – but it simply lacks the element of surprise. But a good handful of beautifully pointed scenes and Marija Bakalowa, who keeps up with Sacha Baron Cohen in terms of fearlessness, still make this sequel a nasty, silly satirical fun.
“Borat 2: Borat Connection Moviefilm” is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.