Borat 2 has finally arrived, 14 years after the release of the original mockumentary comedy — and critics have a lot to say about it.
The film stars Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat Sagdiyev, a reporter from Kazakhstan who engages in American culture with his daughter during a heightened political climate and the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. While Borat Subsequent Moviefilm doesn’t hit quite as strong as its predecessor, many critics still experienced cringe reactions to the timely comedy.
You can read Mashable’s review of the film right here. And see what other critics have to say about Borat 2‘s over-the-top humor below.
Borat’s appalling shenanigans are less shocking in 2020
Mashable, Angie Han
Where Borat was once an outrageous outlier, he’s become just another proud bigot wandering the countryside. Or to put it another way: Our culture has finally caught up to Borat. That can’t be a good thing.
The A.V. Club, Jesse Hassenger
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is frequently funny and occasionally pointed, more than enough to recommend it as a comedy. It’s also another instance where doing things as they’ve always been done no longer feels like quite enough. The prejudices Baron Cohen exposes have become too fond of exposing themselves.
Uproxx, Mike Ryan
In 2006, Borat seemed shocking because we weren’t used to people being so open about their racism and prejudices. Whether or not it was actually the case then, it at least seemed a bit more fringe. It’s true that a lot of us were more naïve then and probably had greater confidence in our fellow human being to be “a good person,” but we certainly weren’t as accustomed to people coming out and saying these things on camera. Today, would it surprise you that Borat and his daughter can walk into a bakery and get a cake that reads, “Jews will not replace us,” with some smiley faces added?
Borat is forced to work around the limitations created by his popularity
AP News, Jake Coyle
Borat doesn’t have the free rein he once did, and not just because of the restrictions of the pandemic. He’s hounded on the streets by cell phone-waving fans asking for a picture, and has to resort to a coterie of disguises. His trail of fiascos this time is a little more limited but no less damning.
Mashable, Angie Han
Subsequent Moviefilm frequently works around Borat’s renown with disguises, including a disturbingly realistic Trump costume that he dons for one of the film’s most outrageous chapters. The movie’s other solution is even better: It gives Borat a “non-male son” — i.e., daughter — to accompany him on his mission to travel across the country and befriend members of the Trump administration.
BBC, Nicholas Barber
Borat is such a well-known figure now that the filmmakers have to disguise him in several scenes. They didn’t have much choice. If Baron Cohen had stuck to the boxy grey suit, the curly hair and the big moustache, too many of the non-actors he speaks to would have realised that they were being conned. But the elaborate disguises don’t make sense in the fictional world of the film.
Borat’s daughter is a fresh addition
Vanity Fair, Sonia Saraiya
Borat’s frattiest fans might despair of having a girl in their clubhouse, but Bakalova is a crucial and excellent addition to the Borat schtick. She gives Cohen a shred more credibility for saying the terribly misogynist things he does—and as Borat Subsequent Moviefilm capitalizes on multiple times, offers the filmmakers twice as much access for getting their gotchas.
Digital Spy, Ian Sandwell
But the sequel also has the benefit of the brilliant Maria Bakalova as Borat’s daughter, proving to be every bit as fearless as Baron Cohen whenever they’re paired together or when she gets her own sketches. She brings a freshness that is sometimes lacking from Borat’s repeated catchphrases and commits as fully to the character as Baron Cohen does.
IndieWire, Eric Kohn
Yet it’s also a welcome showcase for Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s daughter and carries her own prank scenes with such anarchic glee it’s almost as if Baron Cohen invented her in a lab. Bakalova holds her own in the movie’s definitive confrontation with America’s ex-mayor-turned-presidential-goon, and Giuliani’s the punchline to 80-odd minutes of a black-comic horror show.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm hits Amazon Prime Video Oct. 23.