Borat and Bruno are great. I remember seeing the first Borat as an adult, and going with a very tepid expectation. I thought it was going to be a crude and one note comedy where the guy’s funny voice was most of the joke. I was, of course, surprised by the satire and silliness of the story. Borat 2 in many ways seemed like it came out of nowhere. Any person who has seen Borat, would say that they should just be able to make those movies whenever. It’s not like they have a plotline that needs to be adhered to.
Borat 2 was in part written by Jena Friedman. If you don’t know her, one she’s great, and two she’s exactly the vibe that Borat works on. Friedman is smart, and doesn’t stop or overly explain herself to show what she’s doing. IN her Soft Focus series on Adult Swim she’ll make jokes about Louis CK’s sexual harassment, or about John Macaffe without telling you what her opinion on these people are. She just sets up a situation and lets the actors do what they do.
The intentional politics of Jena Friedman are felt here. Borat 2 is a much more obviously political movie. The original Borat had a lot of social commentary. Joining a frat house for a moment, and then going to a manners learning dinner. These things are a bit more under the surface with what they’re saying, and Sache Baron Cohen’s (and the movie’s editing) genius is that he’s able to bring them up.
Here they are more in the plot. Rather than getting a ride randomly with some frat boys, things feel a little more intentional. Borat goes to a republican convention, and then later in the movie a trump rally. Then at the end of the movie there is a big, very funny, scene with Rudy Guliponi. These things are all very funny, but i am glad that i watched the movie the month it came out. These things, the specific way they are funny, I don’t know how long it will be felt. This movie lacks the whimsy that the first had. Ijt pointed look at republicans seems to come at the cost of the silly plot of the first.
But in the vast world of American comedies, this movie does stand out. It has something to say, something more than the Judd Apptown movies that all say the same boring thing about love or something gay like that. This movie makes a lot of points about right wing politics. If you loved the original Borat, and want to hear a man say “My Wife” again, but are a republican, well, I don’t man, maybe stick with the Judd Apptow.