Fourteen years ago, Sacha Baron Cohen changed the world when he introduced the world to Borat Sagdiyev, the crass Kazakhstani reporter who had frat boys saying “very nice” for over a decade. The character itself originated in 1997, but in 2006, Borat became an icon. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan was one of those movies that everyone knew about. Even if you hadn’t seen it, you probably saw your cousin say, “Myy wiiife” at least a thousand times (and laughed maybe twice). Being the cultural phenomenon that it is, you can understand why people were so excited to learn that Cohen had secretly completed a sequel titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and that it would be coming before the end of 2020. While I, like many people, was ecstatic about the news, it begs the question: Is there a place in 2020 for Cohen’s crude satirical brand of humor, or does it just serve to remind us how insane and broken our country really is?
Let’s start with the man behind it all, Sacha Baron Cohen. While Cohen hasn’t donned the suit and mustache on the big screen in a while, he has certainly not been quiet. Just two years ago, Cohen’s show Who is America took the world by storm and actually led to a State Representative stepping down because of the horrible things Cohen was able to convince him to do on camera. You may be wondering, how do people keep falling for this shtick?
As I mentioned before, Borat is an extremely recognizable character. One would think that after all the stunts he’s pulled, people would start to recognize him and stop falling for it, but Cohen is clever. With some new tricks and a few fresh faces, Borat is still able to cause an unbelievable amount of mischief. The fact that Cohen is still getting away with these antics is shocking, but it’s even more baffling that he was able to keep this under wraps for so long.
Back in June, you may remember a video surfacing that featured Cohen (heavily disguised) crashing the Alt-Right March for our Rights protest in Washington. The video made waves around the internet and there was some buzz, but even then, no one knew a full movie was coming. Besides this, Cohen has done an amazing job protecting the details of this project, but rest assured, Cohen has some cards up his sleeve and they are sure to make your jaw drop to the floor.
The jokes are ridiculous and the public stunts are outrageous, but many of the gags in this movie are based around Americans saying (or agreeing with) incredibly ignorant and hateful things. Comments that were comically over the line in 2006 have become commonplace in our current government and many will argue that we’ve reached the point where it’s more distressing than humorous. Recently, it’s been tough to say that anything going on in our country is funny. The problems we face are enormously serious and far from a laughing matter, but if there’s any humor to be found in the state of our country, Cohen puts it on full display here.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm will be released this Friday on Amazon Prime.