Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen) is back. Having dishonoured Kazakhstan on his last trip to America, he is determined to set things right. His daughter Tutar (Irina Nowak) comes along as they go about preparing a special gift for Vice President Mike Pence.
'Borat 2', aka 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm' (or to give it its full title, 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan') is about what you'd expect. Obviously living up to its predecessor was going to be near impossible. But the sequel offers enough laugh-out-loud moments, intermittent though they are, to make for an entertaining feature.
The opening monologue is very politically incorrect and very funny. It establishes immediately that there's absolutely no point in being in any way sensitive watching this movie. Many of the jokes take aim at American politics; and while one won't give any away for fear of spoiling it, it's safe to say viewers outside the US will be especially amused. Within minutes, just about everyone is insulted. Sure we know well enough by now that that's Sacha Baron Cohen's way.
It's worth noting that the actor takes a self reflective approach in addressing how recognisable he is now. His disguises are more varied, and it's still good fun to see people fall for them. Some scenes are clearly staged, but that doesn't mean they're no craic. The irony is that while it generally seems less risk taking than its predecessor, today's security measures probably mean it's more so.
'Borat 2' can have that cringe type of humour that's hard to watch. It recalls fellow mockumentary 'The Office' that way; but tonally, interestingly, it feels more like 'Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa' than the first 'Borat' in that its basis around prank scenes strewn together with threadbare scripts in between. The relationship between Borat and Tutar falls a little flat but fair play to Irina Nowak for keeping up with Cohen's ad libbing.
The coronavirus sequences don't quite work and the Donald Trump finale can't hold a candle to the prior Pamela Anderson one. There's also an over reliance on cliches but typically the jokes that hit make up for the movie's duller aspects. There's an implicating scene at the end involving a certain politician; and a ludicrous but gas conspiracy theory (though it's a shame 'South Park' got there first). In the end, 'Borat 2' proves good fun if you've a bold sense of humour and aren't overly concerned with morals and principles.
'Borat 2' streams on Amazon Prime from Friday, October 23.