This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
gabE’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
While I can’t say I’m not *a little* disappointed to see the free-form tone of the original traded for this more rigid story structure, I can understand the necessity for it. Woliner also did as much as he could to keep it fun by turning it into a silly political thriller. And there’s so much to enjoy about this Subsequent Moviefilm (sick title btw)! Specifically, we have a hilarious performance by Maria Bakalova, who takes every opportunity and absolutely runs with it. Serious question to people struggling to realize women are funnier than men: how do you feel about Bakalova overshadowing Baron Cohen, about McAdams overshadowing Ferrell, Lapkus overshadowing Spade? How can you deny the data so clearly laid out in front of you?
Anyway, I can see how this crew wasn’t able to have the same level of access as the crew did for the original, and it’s acknowledged from the jump: Borat became a cultural phenomenon- he’s just so easily recognized. Another key thing preventing them from cutting at American psyches the same way is just the seismic shift since the MacDonald Trump premiership. You can’t adequately re-contextualize a view as being “funny” when it’s presented shamelessly as if a joke in the first place. What is there left to expose when the culprits are either claiming it or denying it with seemingly no consequence? I can’t blame the production for not doing more when they had all of this working against them, and to still stick the landing the way they did?? This was a gift.