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Borat (2006)

June 22, 2009

8/10 Funny Bigots

Easily the funniest movie of 2006 and the movie that finally established Sacha Baron Cohen as one of the funniest guys out there today.

Borat is about a Kazakhstani journalist named Borat who goes over to the USA to do a story on American life but ends up trekking across the country to try and marry Pamela Anderson after seeing her on Baywatch and, naturally, falling in love with her. Oh, Borat. You dog, you.

The character Borat first made his appearance as one of Baron Cohen’s three alter-egos on his gut-bustingly funny show Da Ali G Show. If you’ve never seen it, go rent the first two seasons a.s.a.p. or just YouTube the hell out of it.

Borat acts as an endearing, ignorantly racist foreigner in a foreign land whose own totally absurd prejudices of how a woman’s brain is the size of a squirrel (among other gems) are continually reinforced by the people he interviews who actually do believe that men are better than women and that all Muslims have bombs strapped to their chests. A good deal of the interviews are pretty jaw-dropping, it’s a surprisingly effective look into some of America’s more bizarre subcultures, and isn’t it great to see racist jackasses get humiliated in front of the entire world?

Hell yes it is.

The thing is, Sacha Baron Cohen is not a racist. He’s actually a practicing Jew and is the only one in on the joke during his cross-country voyage through America’s South. And that’s why it all works instead of coming off as the most anti-Semitic movie of all time.

Borat is phenomenal comic writing in action and Baron Cohen sends it home like only he can. It’s an edgy and surprisingly smart movie that pushes the envelope in a really unique way and it’s one of those things that people are still going to be laughing their asses off to years from now.

You really have to see it for yourself to understand how good this movie is. It might touch a nerve here and there, but suck it up, you’re an adult. You can handle it.

I also have no idea how Baron Cohen managed to stay in character for so long to plug this movie. He’s either batshit crazy or was born for this line of work. I’m leaning towards the latter.

The point is, Borat is absolutely hilarious. The only drawback is that a lot of the humor revolves around its shock value the first time around, so it doesn’t bring the laughs in subsequent viewings the way it does when you don’t know what’s coming next. If I wrote this review three years ago around this time, it would get an easy 9/10 Funny Bigots.

I really don’t know how Bruno is going to top this. But one can only hope…

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