Warning: The following contains spoilers for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.”
Back in 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen took the world by storm with his new character Borat. The trolling mustachioed Kazakh reporter was everywhere, from Halloween costumes to talk shows and even daily conversations – very nice!
Now 14 years later Borat has returned for a sequel, or in his case, a “Subsequent Moviefilm.” It’s revealed that after the release of the original “Borat,” the journalist brought shame to his home country and was in turn sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor.
But in 2020, the Premier of Kazakhstan decides to give him a shot at redemption. Offended by President Donald Trump’s decisions to align with tough guy world leaders like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un but not him, Premier Nazarbayevdx (Dani Popescu) tasks Borat with delivering a prestigious gift to the U.S. leadership in order to gain their respect.
Originally, the gift was intended to be a Kazakh monkey who also happened to be the country’s top porn star (because, of course), but after his outlandish death, Borat must scramble to find a replacement present. So, in typical Borat fashion, he decides he’s going to offer up his 15-year-old daughter, Tutar (the 24-year-old Maria Bakalova) to Vice President Mike Pence.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic the duo set off across America to learn how to transform Tutar into an attractive American woman that Pence, “the vice pussy grabber,” will accept. Only, there’s one problem – everyone knows Borat now. His mustache and grey suit are infamous on the streets, and Baron Cohen’s other shenanigans as Brüno and in his series “Who Is America?” have raised the guards of his high profile targets.
But no challenge is too big for Borat, and plenty of shocking pranks still occur. We all already know about that moment – the one in which Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani seemingly attempts to seduce Tutar after an interview – so, we’ll refrain from diving into that one, but here are the most outrageous of all the other gags.
Trolling a crisis pregnancy center
After Tutar accidentally swallows a plastic baby decorating a cupcake, Borat rushes his daughter to a crisis pregnancy center in an attempt to remove the child. Unbeknownst to Borat and Tutar, these centers can’t actually perform abortions, but instead they’re run by conservatives and try to guilt women into halting their abortions.
At the center the two encounter Pastor Jonathan Bright, who tries to convince the pair that the baby is already a living, breathing being, and Borat conveniently forgets to mention that the baby in question is actually plastic. Things only get worse when Borat mentions that he was the one who put the baby in his daughter, but despite it all, Bright insists that “God doesn’t make accidents.”
Without his assistance, Borat and Tutar end up removing the baby the old fashioned way in a gas station bathroom, which results in some hilarious reactions from the other people in the bathroom.
Stealing the spotlight at a debutante ball
Down in Georgia, Borat embraces southern traditions and uses a debutante ball to present his newly transformed daughter to high society. Surrounded by wealthy, white, and likely conservative southerners, Tutar is preyed on by slimy fathers telling her how attractive she is, even though their own wives and daughters are right there. One even goes so far as to tell Borat that he’d pay $500 for Tutar, to which his daughter justifiably responds how “fucking gross” he is.
When it comes time for the duo’s father-daughter dance in front of the crowd, Tutar reveals that she’s started her “moon blood,” aka her period. This is excellent news to Borat, because now they can perform their traditional fertility dance for everyone to see. What starts as respectable choreography with the crowd clapping along quickly devolves into Tutar hiking up her dress and revealing her bloody underwear to everyone as they dash from the room.
Under cover at the Conservative Political Action Committee Conference
When it comes time to actually meet Vice President Pence, it’s at the CPAC Conference, but how can a man as recognizable as Borat make a discreet entrance? It turns out you don’t have to be discreet, as long as you blend right in with the crowd. Borat waltzes right in the front door of the conference with no objections decked out in full Ku Klux Klan robes, including a pointed hood.
Once inside, he makes his way to the bathroom where he dons a second disguise – a blow-up fat suit, a blazer and a shockingly realistic Donald Trump mask. Borat throws Tutar over his shoulder and is ready to deliver his gift, interrupting the vice president as he boasts about the administrations response to the coronavirus and claims “We’re ready for anything.” Well, we know how that went.
Borat is able to get Pence’s attention and stop him mid-speech, but he’s quickly corralled by security and boo’d out of the conference by Trump loyalists and even struck by a few.
Quarantining in the countryside
Months later in June, America’s situation with the coronavirus has only gotten worse, and Borat finds himself in the middle of it all. With no place to quarantine, two Alt-Right conspiracy theorists, Jerry and Jim, open up their home. Borat befriends the men and in the process learns that Democrats are more dangerous than COVID-19, the Clinton’s are the ones who created the virus, and that Hillary drinks the blood of children after torturing them.
Borat teaches the men a few things too, recounting all of his made up stories from Kazakhstan, and it’s pure irony as the QAnon truthers call him out on his conspiracy theories while spewing their own.
Grabbing the mic at March For Our Rights
While attending a rally for the gun advocate group March For Our Rights, Borat –in disguise once again – makes his way on stage as a faux country singer. There, he leads the crowd in a rousing rendition of “The Chinese Virus Song” he wrote in the cabin with Jerry and Jim.
It’s not at all shocking how easily he’s able to convince the gun-toting crowd to sing along about throwing Obama in jail, injecting him and Dr. Fauci with the “Wuhan Flu,” chopping up journalists “like the Saudis do” and “gassing up” scientists “like the Germans.” Trump flags wave, Nazi salutes go up across the crowd and audiences cheer on the violent song.
Maybe it’s the fact that the Borat bit will never be as shocking as it was in the original, or maybe it’s the fact that after the last four years no amount of American idiocy is truly surprising, but the pranks in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” pale in comparison to those in its predecessor. Still, there are enough shocking surprises to make it worth a watch.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.