SuperBardiBros’s review published on Letterboxd:
I came to this realization about Borat as I noticed I wasn't laughing as hard as the first one. The first movie came out after 9/11 and before the rise of the Tea Party, Trump, before the emergence of social media, before people's brain got poisoned by fake news. It was hilarious and as a 19-year old immigrant, I thought the racism and misogyny was a bit alarming.
14 years later, the sequel works as an exposé on how the vices of this country has evolved in such a short amount of time, how the USA went from a country with high stature to the butt of all jokes around the world; it couldn't be more timely after seeing the way we've handled the pandemic.
It's still funny but it's a lot more frightening and the sad part is that if we had paid any attention to the nasty roots seeded in the foundation of this country, the same ones Sasha Baron Cohen exposed in Borat and the much underrated Brunö then we shouldn't be surprised as to how we got here, the wheels were in motion.
The first Borat had me literally rolling on the floor of the theater laughing, for this sequel, I laughed but it was all a bit more reserved; I'm troubled and worried about how much we've gone backward... Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe because I didn't watch it with a big crowd, maybe I'm worried about the elections, or maybe it's because I'm in my California bubble but I knew a lot of this stuff already: the silly Qanon conspiracy theory, dangerously ironic conservative abortion beliefs, the anti-Fauci/science denial rallies, this sequel function as a reality check on the state of where we are as a country just like the first one did.
There are still glimmers of hope, the touching synagogue scene, the babysitter who guides Tutar through her feminism journey, the politeness of the Conservative ladies, the rednecks who nevertheless hosted Borat in their house... This country isn't fully fucked yet, there is some sort of basic American decency that can be salvaged. I just hope that we come out looking better than this if there is another follow-up in 14 years. Vote.