“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” isn’t really a sequel

A review of “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” and why it’s a good movie but a bad sequel.

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” is an exception to the rule that you can’t judge a movie by its title. And boy does it deliver. The film features dozens of hilarious scenes, as well as scenes shocking enough to destroy the political careers of those involved. Well, it delivers on every part of the title except one. That part of the title being “Borat”, A.K.A. the main character of the film. Despite being the main character of the film and being a direct sequel to the 2007 film “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation Kazakhstan”, this new Borat doesn’t feature the titular character much at all. Why is that?

The original 2006 Borat is one of the funniest and most groundbreaking comedies ever made. What made the film so unique was that it was a mockumentary, or fake documentary, featuring real people. The lead actor and writer, Sacha Baron-Cohen, would dress up as a racist Middle Eastern caricature named Borat, and then interact with real people to say the most deplorable things imaginable. For example. Borat (2006) was a massive critical and financial success, setting box office records, and being nominated for several Academy Awards. This presented Cohen with an issue for his next film, that being it would now be much harder for him to make a movie like this since he was now a worldwide celebrity.

Borat is one of the funniest and most groundbreaking comedies ever made.”

— Jack Harris '22

In 2009 Cohen released his follow-up, “Brüno.” The film received mixed reviews, but in the years since, it has gained a cult following with some hailing it as being better than “Borat” (2006). Then in 2018, after years of traditional comedies, Cohen released a TV show called “Who Is America?” where he dressed up in disguises and interviewed various major political figures such as Dick Cheney and Bernie Sanders. Despite not being a hit with critics, viewers could not get enough of this show, and Cohen was once again put center stage, setting him up for his return to his most famous character, one Borat Sagdiyev.

When Amazon announced the sequel to Borat it came as a shock to everyone. Borat was such a popular character that Cohen had to film the entire movie in secret. How did he do that? The answer is he didn’t really. Throughout the film, Cohen rarely dresses up as Borat when interacting with people, so as not to be noticed. While this doesn’t make the film any less funny, there’s no doubt that it disappointed many who were looking forward to seeing this character again. The film actually focuses more on Tutar, Borat’s daughter, who is played by Maria Bakalova. The film follows Borat, as he tries to sell his daughter to various American politicians in an effort to win America as an ally for Kazakhstan.

The film actually focuses more on Tutar, Borat’s daughter.”

— Jack Harris '22

This film as its own property works very well. The jokes are funny, the scenes are shocking, and the commentary is prevalent, but all the scenes that try to tie it to the original film drag the entire experience down. As a sequel to Borat, it just doesn’t work all that great. Cohen should have made an entirely different movie, instead of a sequel to Borat.