The second time around, Borat isn’t quite as hilariously shocking, but its knotty complexities only grow deeper. When you’re not busy rolling in the aisles, you’ll actually notice that some of Sacha Baron Cohen’s victims hold on to their dignity rather well. Certain jokes are such self-reflexive boomerangs that you have to hear them more than once to figure out exactly who the target is (like the one that goes “You telling me the man who try to put a rubber fist in my anus was a homosexual?“) Others have been quoted in outrage so much that the actual punchline went forgotten: the “Running of the Jews” bit doesn’t actually pay off until the last scene of the movie, where Borat says, “It’s cruel. We Christians now!” while a crucified townsperson gets poked with a pitchfork. Questions about what’s real persist–I’m not sure who said it first, but the line about all movies being documentaries applies.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Larry Charles, 2006. ****
- YouTube pulled it, but Yahoo Video still has Sacha Baron Cohen’s Golden Globe acceptance speech.