Movie critic Mark Kermode has a Six Laugh Test when deciding whether a film should be classed as funny or not. Simply put: does it make you laugh six times?
I’m not sure many movies pass the bequiffed one’s threshold. Even 2020 itself has struggled to muster six complete chuckles unless you count the collective falling about we did when Donald Trump got Covid.
The original Borat movie easily passed. In fact I laughed so much at Sacha Baron Cohen’s candid camera road trip with his hapless Kazakh alter-ego, I was left, quite literally, on the floor of the cinema.
Baron-Cohen has donned the Graeme Souness moustache once more for another trip to expose the dumber side of American life. In 2008, Borat shone a light on what felt like a hidden part of a country. The madness gripping the USA right now comes from the same place, but it’s now plain for everyone to see. It’s in the White House, for another few weeks or years at least.
Baron Cohen understands this, and goes directly for big targets like Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, who is exposed as being, at minimum, very creepy in one deeply uncomfortable section. Six cringes? Yes. Laughs. No, it’s too grim.
Perhaps parodying a country which seems beyond such things at the moment is too tough. Come back for a threequel, Sacha, when things have calmed down.
Borat 2, Amazon Prime Video, streaming now
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