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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Deleted Scenes and Extras Review

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All of Borat 2‘s supplemental materials — which include the deleted scenes, “Borat’s American Lockdown,” and “Debunking Borat” — are available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscar-nominated Borat Subsequent Moviefilm strikes while the iron is cooling with three supplemental shorts meant to prolong and expand upon the Borat 2 experience. One features so-so cutting room floor material (most of which you can tell why they left it out), another is an excellent extended examination of Cohen’s Borat living with kind-but-demented conspiracy nuts Jim and Jerry, and the third is a series of disappointing “debunking” pieces aimed at the unfounded and hateful theories Jim and Jerry coddled and conveyed. Sadly, not enough of these extras contain Best Supporting Actress nominee Maria Bakalova’s Tutar. It’s an uneven collection to say the least.

Let’s break these extras down and try to give each one its due. The 20-plus minutes of deleted scenes – presented as Borat: VHS Cassette of Material Deemed “Sub-acceptable” By Kazakhstan Ministry of Censorship and Circumcision – is fairly standard stuff. It’s Coen doing some fun physical comedy and space work in front of people who are either in on the bit (if you yourself enjoy a good conspiracy), alarmingly patient, or scarily obtuse. There’s more from etiquette expert Gloria Starr, the debutante coach, and babysitter Jeanise Jones as well some added golf lessons, barbershop hijinx, and Tutar eating lipstick. Oh, and we finally see the Harry Potter costume joke that was in the trailer but not in the movie.

These moments are all perfectly decent and should be entertaining enough, but the film was better for losing them. Bakalova, who was a huge reason why Borat 2 worked so well (and whose anonymity at the time was why Cohen was even able to pull off a second docu-tour as the infamous Borat), remains a shining, cartoonish gem in the bits she’s in, but obviously all her best stuff made it into the finished product. The lockdown special, however, which also features omitted footage, is a way more interesting dive.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm had three crucial things going for it, helping it achieve a greatness one perhaps never thought possible from a Borat sequel. The first was the father/daughter arc between Borat and Tutar that gave Cohen a true partner in crime to help carry some of the public-facing prank weight. The next was the shocking ending featuring Rudy Giuliani. And the third was the unexpected third-act lockdown that happened during the beginning of the pandemic here in the US. Borat’s time with Jim and Jerry felt like its own thematic thing amidst the Borat/Tutar story, and “Borat’s American Lockdown” (which runs 37 minutes) explores Cohen’s silly, stagnant, and strange time with, basically, the target of his Borat films. Meaning, the very people Cohen is satirizing.

“Borat’s American Lockdown” is a fascinating immersion exhibit featuring two guys with fundamentally dangerous beliefs who, as best as one can tell (or as best as presented to us), might be able to change their opinions if presented with facts. After all, they seemed kind enough to strangers and took in this big weirdo with no questions asked. They also, in a moment dripping with supreme irony, call Borat’s ideas about women insane. When shown diagrams from Borat’s sinister and satirical “Daughters Owner’s Manual” handbook, they strongly denounce it, never once realizing that the book is meant as a jab at them and their cockamamie thinking. But then again, Jim and Jerry are also worried about tracking chips hidden in vaccines when they freely use the internet, smartphones, and Alexa every day without so much as a VPN.

All of that makes “Borat’s American Lockdown” the best thing offered here in this new Borat 2 goodies assortment, and you’d think it’d make for an excellent lead-in for “Debunking Borat,” which actually features Jim and Jerry returning for…possible redemption? But the debunking pieces don’t land well.

The idea behind “Debunking Borat” is that, over the course of six short chapters, Jim and Jerry would come face to face (over zoom) with an expert who could, and maybe would, change their mind about the inane ideas they subscribe to – from mail-in ballots being illegitimate to the aforementioned microchips in vaccines to (JFC) Hillary Clinton killing kids and consuming their blood.

Unfortunately these little episodes mostly only show us Jim and Jerry being introduced to the expert – the rest plays out as an explainer for us as to why these theories are fake and wrong. And we (hopefully) aren’t the ones who need it. So there’s no real payoff to Jim and Jerry meeting with people who know better other than the two of them being brought back as a bit that gives them more exposure and continues to play their alarmingly ignorant traits for more comedy. If “Debunking Borat” could have incorporated Jim and Jerry more and showed them actually hearing their theories being proven false, and a meaningful dialogue occurring – whether or not they eventually accept it – then it would have been a more worthwhile endeavor. But without more introspection from them on camera, even when they come “face to face” with their most hated enemy it still falls flat.

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