“Borat” is a number of things: offensive, crude, over-the-top and ridiculous. Of course, all of which can be forgettable and even welcome under one simple and necessary condition: the movie has to be funny – “Borat” isn’t. Instead, it’s a poorly conceived 85 minute movie that’s offensive, crude, ridiculous and worst of all, boring.
Borat is one of three characters (all played by Cohen) that grace creator Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Da Ali G. Show”. To say that Cohen has a loyal following is an understatement. It’s estimated grossing for its first day alone (almost nine million dollars) is enough to choke a donkey. And considering how limited a release it received, it deserves a good pat on the back for being such a surprising money-maker. Unfortunately, it’s just one more example of a successful movie that’s not only over-hyped but flat-out bad.
The reason for the film’s surprising awfulness seems to be the result of a limited imagination. For being the brainchild of such a wacky, interesting guy, Borat fails to be anything more than an arrangement of forgettable jokes about Jews, gays, blacks and feminists: taking some very general and fairly obvious stereotypes and exploiting them.
The problem is you don’t have to be particularly inventive to think of material that’s racist and misogynistic and put it on paper. In fact, almost any 13-year old boy from a public school could have written or probably has thought of most of the jokes that populate “Borat”. And if that’s not pathetic, I don’t know what is.
Regardless, everyone seems to love this movie. Everyone from the most respected critics to audiences in general. So, in that sense, I guess I recommend the film. Because chances are you’ll like it.even if it’s the most overrated film of the year so far.
Danny Gordon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.