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Critics praise Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Borat 2’ as ‘fitfully funny’ and ‘urgently satirical’

  • October 22, 2020

Borat is back! This time with political stunts and a daughter.

Sacha Baron Cohen reprises his infamous role as a foul-mouthed journalist in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” which is set to stream Friday on Amazon Prime – less than two weeks ahead of the presidential election. 

The sequel to the 2006 film follows Borat’s journey to America, this time including his 15-year-old daughter, Tatur (played by Maria Bakalova), where they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming election. 

Was the sequel just as outrageous and memorable as the original? Movie critics seemed to have mostly positive feedback for the mockumentary, which has an 85% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Sacha Baron Cohen reprises one of his famous roles in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

USA TODAY film critic Brian Truitt awarded the film ★★½ out of four stars, calling it “fleetingly funny” but praising Cohen for “the absolute commitment to the over-the-top Borat persona.”

” ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ features an unexpectedly strong ending that at least pays off some of the sweeter aspects of the family dynamic, plus wraps up on an activist note,” he wrote.

Los Angeles Times critic Justin Chang lauded the mockumentary for its raunchy shenanigans, calling it “scattershot, fitfully funny and sometimes weirdly poignant.”

“Borat’s latest misadventures exist to remind us, we live in a world gone mad, and compliance seems antithetical to his gleefully anarchic spirit,” he wrote.

IndieWire’s Eric Kohn gave the film an A-minus. “Borat isn’t exactly woke, but his time has come: 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.”

While Nicholas Barber from BBC said it was initially “worrying” to see if the film would live up to the original 2006 comedy, he ultimately awarded the “exciting” movie four out of five stars.

“Having been made with a specific political purpose, Subsequent Moviefilm won’t age as well as the previous ‘Borat’ did,” he wrote. “But it’s the ripped-from-the-headlines relevance that makes it so fascinating, and it’s the boiling rage at current politics that makes it so bracing. There aren’t many films as urgently satirical as this one.”

Peter Debruge from Variety praised Cohen for fusing comedy with political activism in what he calls “a staggering act of comedic revolt with built-in viral potential.”

“Simultaneously rowdy and relevant, the film is shaping up to be the kind of October surprise capable of sparking laughs, shaping public discourse and engaging voters as serious-minded messaging can’t.”

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