HE’s back! Sacha Baron Cohen’s mustachioed Kazakh reporter has braved the darkest corners of Trumpland for a new high-octane assignment.
Well sort of. Borat caused such a stir with his 2006 film, he’s been forced to hide his curly mop and Saddam Hussein ‘tache under a string of ridiculous disguises.
And for the most outrageous stunts, Baron Cohen cedes the limelight to brilliant Bulgarian comic Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat’s devoted 15-year-old daughter Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev, “the oldest unmarried woman in Kazakhstan”.
It’s Bakalova who has grabbed the headlines when Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani slammed the film for its climatic stunt.
I suspect that’s also why they wanted to rush the film out before the Presidential election.
It’s definitely topical, but is it funny?
Well, it certainly has its moments. While nothing compares with the first film’s naked wrestling scene, Kazakhstan’s most famous son can still raise uncomfortable laughs.
After spending the last 14 years in a Gulag for bringing disgrace to his homeland, he’s offered a shot at redemption – a mission to curry favour with “McDonald Trump’s” Vice President Mike Pence.
After a scheme to give him Kazakhstan’s most famous chimp goes awry, Borat settles on the plan of gifting him his teenage daughter or “non-male son”.
The early stunts are most retreads from the first film. Borat gets a cake shop owner to ice an anti-Semitic message and gets a crowd of heavily-armed and largely unmasked Rednecks to sing about butchering scientists at a Trump rally.
They’re funny but not as punchy. In 2006, he had to trick thick Yanks into saying this stuff. Now they proudly spout it on the evening news.
But Bakalova’s brassneck and quick wit carries us through to the jaw-dropping finale.
I suspect the film’s editor did most of the damage in the duo’s biggest stunt but it still gets a “high five” from me.
On Amazon Prime Video from October 23.