Watching the original Borat 14 years after its 2006 release throws its strengths and weaknesses into stark relief. The catchphrases are tired to the point of mundanity and a lot of the hijinks are simply not funny in retrospect. On the other hand, the satire still bites, and the best scenes are still horrifying and enthralling. When Borat mastermind Sacha Baron Cohen successfully lulls his real-life subjects into believing they’re speaking to a foreign simpleton whose documentary will never be seen outside Kazakhstan, the things that come out of their mouths are truly abhorrent–and that’s the character’s real genius.
All these years later, Cohen has surprised us all with a hastily announced and released sequel, and thankfully, Borat 2 leans into that genius while leaving the original’s most problematic material behind. And it definitely lives up to its full title, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.