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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

When the first ‘Borat’ film was unleashed on an unsuspecting public in 2006, viewers wondered what they struck. The oddball adventures of a clumsy news reporter caused huge controversy due to its well-deserved targets and biting satire. Mainly an improvisational vehicle for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, ‘Borat’ allowed him to put a mirror against society’s weird foibles. The humour comes from unwitting participant’s reactions with ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ more of the same.

This time Kazakhstani’s favourite news reporter further explores American culture during a time of the COV-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections. Borat’s antics see him crash a Conservative conference, an anti-mask rally and various members of U.S. President Donald Trump’s political team. Joining him is his teenage daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova) who Borat wants to gift to a powerful American male as compensation for his past misdemeanours. As always nothing goes to plan as father and daughter wreak havoc amongst America’s religious right-wing heart.

Making ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ less of a rehash of its predecessor is Cohen’s skills in better highlighting issues in today’s murky world. Political apathy and the rise of particular lobby groups are in Cohen’s fiery sights. Whilst he deliberately sets out to provoke, he has the rare gift in offering viewers a lesson in a fun way without being too obvious. His type of subversive humour creeps up on you, making for more effective punchlines. This is nowhere more potent than in the outrageous things he says to people, with some fervently agreeing no matter how outlandish.

‘Borat 2’ is quite deliberately shocking at times with the envelope pushed to the limit. It may not be to everyone’s taste with the pacing occasionally sagging. Jason Woliner’s direction generally keeps the comedic momentum going with Bakalova a great addition to Borat’s weird universe. Like Cohen, her bravery in putting herself in dangerous situations is admirable. In many ways, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ works better than any documentary in exposing the hypocrisy of aspects of current American life with the Trump era finding the country at a crossroads.

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ should please long-time fans. The issues raised and the way they’re presented genuinely hit home. This is a skill that has seen Cohen succeed over the years. At this shadowy time in history, the satirical swipes his latest provides is a much needed tonic against the fake news peddlers he meets.

Rating out of 10: 8

CURRENTLY STREAMING ON AMAZON PRIME

Bill & Ted Face the Music

Nearly thirty years since the last instalment, the ‘Bill & Ted’ franchise roars back to life. ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ and ‘Bogus Journey’ were hardly high art. They had a sense of dumb fun appealing to audiences who enjoyed the increasingly silly humour. ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ is more of the same, albeit with an older looking cast and young at heart antics.

Both now middle aged and dealing with life, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) wonder how things have turned out. They don’t have long to ponder such issues when Kelly (Kristen Schaal), a visitor from the future, tells them they must write a song so earth and the universe can be saved. Working with their daughters and old friends such as the Grim Reaper (William Sadler), the bodacious duo race against the clock while creating the sweet music they crave.

There’s not much of a plot with ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ which is part of its charm. Whilst it has few slow spots despite its brisk runtime, it conjures a healthy mix of nonsensical nostalgia. Bill and Ted discovering various versions of themselves is vaguely akin to ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, although it’s doubtful Mr. Dickens would have written a film script such as this.

The fun from ‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ derives from the lead’s chemistry. Reeves and Winter energetically revive their roles as does William Sadler who clearly relishes his deathly persona. They are joined by a new cast who mostly succeed in settling into the familiar comedic rhythm of the older stars. The humour generally succeeds with the misses as minisucle as the intelligence level of a smattering of the film’s characters.

‘Bill & Ted Face the Music’ is exactly as you’d expect. It’s an enjoyable enough trip for fans who have grown along with the series. It won’t rock your world as Bill and Ted would like but the ridiculous spectacle they offer is a welcome ray of light in darker times.

RATING OUT OF 10: 7

CURRENTLY SHOWING IN CINEMAS.