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Sasha Baron Cohen is known not simply for creating characters but inhabiting them in a way that few actors even try to do. His most famous character has to be Borat, a journalist from Kazahkstan who travels the world, but mostly America, "reporting" on the world as he sees it. Borat became a cultural icon following the film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and now he's back with the equally word count friendly sequel, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. But how well does Borat work the second time around? Pretty well, as it turns out.
CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg reviewed Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and he gave the film four stars. While the Borat sequel has a significant hurdle to overcome that the first film did not, specifically, that hurdle is the fact that the first film exists, Eric felt that the new movie's attempts to outdo its predecessor largely work, with hilarious, and terrible results...
Of course, one of Hollywood’s sequel rules is that follow-ups have to “go bigger,” and Borat 2 follows protocol by making some audacious swings that hit spectacularly.
If there's already a general consensus emerging regarding the new Borat movie, it's that the sequel probably isn't as good as the first Borat movie simply because the first one came from nowhere and blew people away. Nobody really knew what they were getting themselves into the first time around, but now they do, and so there's an expectation that people are already going to have. It's difficult to truly surprise people when they are already expecting to be surprised.
Having said that, it seems likely that most audiences will still be shocked, amazed, and blown away by some elements of Borat 2, and even if they're not, they'll still be entertained because the movie is still hilarious. As i09's Germain Lussier puts it...
Borat 2 is...fucking insane. Like completely wild. I screamed and turned my head more than I watched the movie, got tons of reasons, which is exactly the point.
The fact that the world now knows Borat actually plays a part in the film itself. For the first film, Sasha Baron Cohen could just be Borat in public and nobody really knew what was happening, but he's a recognizable icon now. Borat is the same but the world has changed around him, which, in the opinion of Vulture, takes something away from the new film, but not enough to lose appreciation...
He’s still fake and we’re still real. If his bite isn’t quite as sharp as it was before, it’s because the world has caught up to, and in some cases surpassed, his phony lunacy. So, no, we don’t actually need Borat anymore. But we should still be glad he exists.
America is sick, and hurting, and angry and misinformed. If Sacha Baron Cohen were to put away the latex prosthetics, dumb accents and hairpieces, he might find a new, better way to show us our reflection — and to make us look, instead of just laughing at our neighbors' most awkward moments.
Borat fans will love the new Borat movie. That's probably not any sort of revelation, but it does appear that those excited by the idea of more will be pleasantly surprised, and shocked, and possibly disgusted, just the way they hoped.