While Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm does not have has many significant moments as its predecessor, the Rudy Giuliani honey trap as a single event was enough to seal this movie as a worthy sequel.
This review of Amazon original film Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm contains major spoilers.
Rudy Giuliani’s honey trap is surprisingly not the biggest achievement of the Borat sequel. The fact that Sacha Baron Cohen managed to pull off this sequel on the eve of the election and during the pandemic is an achievement in itself. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm, which has been kindly provided on Amazon for free, is an unexpected but hilarious piece of work.
Mr Cohen had a glaring issue for the sequel — the character itself. Following on from the success of the first film, Borat has to disguise himself in various scenes to fool the participants. But to further the film, and not make it a complete waste of time, Borat has a new companion — his daughter Tutar Sagdiyev (played by Maria Bakalova). She is the real driving force as Borat is brought back from exile in Kazakhstan and tasked with delivering a gift to Vice President Mike Pence to put their country back on the world map. Borat was exiled for embarrassing his country.
The gift initially is a monkey, but it further transpires to be his daughter and what follows is a satirical plot on women’s rights and feminist movements. Tutar believes that women are second-class citizens based on the Kazakhstan “manual” that Borat keeps on instilling, making America an ironic eye-opening perspective for both her and her father. Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm gives you everything you’d expect from Sacha Cohen — it’s audacious, and it sends out strong thematic messages. It brings back the reasons why we loved the character so much.
But it isn’t easy to talk about the Borat sequel without talking about the end goal — putting one of Trump’s acquaintances in a compromising position. The character of Tutar is meant to be 15 years old, yet she is tasked with handing herself over to Rudy Giuliani so she can become the next Melania Trump — a life-dream of hers. Acting as a journalist, Tutar repeatedly brushes Rudy Giuliani’s knee and lavishes him with compliments. It’s an embarrassing moment for Trump’s friend who ends up in a bedroom with her, asking for her phone number and then ends up with his hands down his pants after sorting out the audio equipment.
This is a damning moment for the former Mayor of New York City, and while he did nothing criminal to Tutar, he has ousted himself as a creep — a big, slobby, sweaty creep. We will never know how far this would have gone as Borat rushes through the door to split up the moment — Sacha Baron Cohen admits to being concerned for his actress. Audiences can make their own judgements — was Rudy tucking his shirt back in after dealing with the audio equipment or was he about to do something sinister? As the producer, Sacha did not wait to find out — while the goal of the movie was to put one of Trump’s friends in this position, Sacha was probably not expecting it to have that watershed moment.
So while Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm does not have as many significant moments as its predecessor, the Rudy Giuliani honey trap as a single event was enough to seal this movie as a worthy sequel. It’s even more impressive that Sacha managed to create subplots to the story during the peak of the US virus lockdown, finding himself a couple of Republicans and basking himself in hard right-wing rhetoric — he satired the hell out of them.
So yes, Borat 2 is worth the watch — we never believed Borat could exist again due to his presence in pop culture. But here we are.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.