Sacha Baron Cohen brings his Borat character to the big screen with this feature length adaptation of his American exploits. Fans of DA ALI G SHOW will already be familiar with the devilishly simple Borat formula, in which the heavily mustachioed TV host from Kazakhstan dupes a number of unwitting citizens into revealing their deepest prejudices, and this movie takes that premise, stirs in a little narrative structure, and serves a side-splitting 84-minute mirth-fest. The action begins with Borat traveling to America alongside his producer Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian). After a hotel room viewing of BAYWATCH Borat decides he must travel to California to woo Pamela Anderson, so he and the long-suffering Azamat take a cross-country road trip in an ice cream van, encountering some funny, disturbing, and deeply strange individuals along the way. SEINFELD producer Larry Charles lends his directing talents to BORAT, and he gets the balance between the loosely threaded plot and Borat's encounters with real Americans exactly right. At times the movie threatens to topple over into glorious anarchy, with each situation escalating to ridiculous (and ridiculously funny) extremes, but Charles knows exactly when to put the brakes on and progress to Borat's next encounter--although the police are called at the tail-end of one memorable sequence. Keen-eyed viewers will notice some repetition from the TV show, with Borat once again going to a rodeo and again taking etiquette lessons, but it's almost as if Cohen treats each of these set-pieces as a comedic "bit" he is working on, gradually adding further delirium every time he goes back for another shot. Sometimes it's difficult to tell who, if any, of BORAT's participants are actors, but it matters little when the material is this gut-wrenchingly funny, and it's testament to Cohen's talents that he's managed to take a marginal supporting character from his TV show and turned him into a genuine cultural phenomenon.
- Edition: Anamorphic Widescreen
- Number of Discs: 1
- Rating: R (MPAA)
- Film Country: USA
- UPC: 024543419693
|Display Format:||Anamorphic Widescreen|
"The satire is scaldingly funny and shockingly on target."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (09/07/2006)
"[A] specimen of satirical brilliance so fearless and liberatingly offensive that it ought to be included in every high school syllabus pertaining to (a) multicultural sensitivity and (b) the craft of socially relevant comedy."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (09/29/2006)
4 stars out of 5 -- "[Baron Cohen] has never been one for mere pranks or easy giggles -- his comedy here, as ever, being textured, intelligent and deeply political."
Total Film - Jonathan Dean (12/01/2006)
"Suggesting some of the maniacal skill of Peter Sellers, Cohen so deeply inhabits the character of Borat that all traces of the actor disappear."
Box Office - Kevin Courrier (11/01/2006)
4 stars out of 4 -- "BORAT will make you laugh till it hurts, and you'll still beg for more...Cohen makes prime slapstick out of all the silliness..."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (11/20/2006)
"[T]he effect is to leave an audience convulsed, and unsettled, with laughter....A kind of slapstick, psycho-political JACKASS..." -- Grade: A-
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman (11/10/2006)
"The brilliance of BORAT is that its comedy is as pitiless as its social satire, and as brainy."
New York Times - Manohla Dargis (11/03/2006)
Ranked #8 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (12/28/2006)
Included in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 10 Films Of The Year" -- "BORAT is nothing less than brilliant avant-garde political art..."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (12/29/2006)
Ranked #6 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."
Film Comment - Film Comment Staff (01/01/2007)
5 stars out of 5 -- "[Cohen] has the brilliant knack of immersing himself in a persona and manipulating those around him without appearing malicious."
Ultimate DVD - David Richardson (05/01/2007)