Just in case you somehow live in a cave on the moon in the 1950s, here's a newsflash: The Next Big Comedy Thing is here, and it's called "Borat."
You know what I mean-- the thing everyone's going to be talking about at every holiday party and social gathering for the rest of the year. Here's a challenge: after you finish reading this review, go immediately to your closest T.G.I.Friday's and grab a seat in the bar. Wait five minutes. You'll hear at least three people do a "Borat" impression. Badly. It's this year's "Napoleon Dynamite."
Remember that ordeal from two years ago? I'm willing to bet you've still got a friend or a coworker who still can't stop saying "Gosh!" at every turn and sporting his "Vote For Pedro" shirt every week or so, even though the rest of society has grown painfully weary of being reminded how trendy they are for being familiar with such a "cutting edge" comedy.
Yeah, it's going to be that bad. Only difference is, unlike "Napoleon Dynamite," "Borat" is actually funny. Like really, really funny. It's only 80 minutes long, but there's more genuinely funny material in this movie than the last three comedies you saw. It's the comedy grenade-- it rolls lumpily into the room, stops, and then... WHAMMO.
Now, a quick rundown of what you probably already know (probably-- if you're one of the 1950s moon-cave people, slow down and read this next paragraph real slow-like): "Borat" is offensive. Incredibly offensive. As a matter of fact, I'd say that it's easily the most offensive movie I've ever seen in a movie theater. There is at least one scene in this movie that will have you wondering just how the hell Sacha Baron-Cohen managed to get this past the MPAA with just an "R" rating. There's nudity in this film, folks, and despite Pam Anderson's prominent place in the film's plot, the nudity ain't of the usual round female globular breastacular type. There's schlongs in this movie. More than one. If looking at a schlong is going to ruin your weekend, go see something else. Seriously.
But that's circumstantial (...erm, why did I almost type "circumsicial"?). What's important is that the movie is funny, and honestly may surprise you with how subtle and well-timed it can be. Fortunately this isn't even a case where you know all the jokes and gags if you've seen the trailer-- I walked in expecting this, based on Hollywood's track record recently of pumping out comedy trailers that leech out every great gag for the commercials, leaving a bunch of filler for the actual viewing. And I was delighted to find my suspicions unconfirmed.
As a matter of fact, there's a moment of comic closure which occurs late in the film which stands as nothing less than a comedic field goal-- upon first viewing, it's a simple gag-line built on an earlier scene, but when viewed within the structure of the film as a whole, it's this beautiful character moment which slightly deepens and ties up the whole experience so whip-tight that the rest of the film is just an end-zone dance. It's a moment that's obvious and haiku-simple, but situated so perfectly that it's the comedic equivalent of a home-run crack of the bat.
Yeah, it's that good.
So here's the bottom line, kiddos-- see "Borat," and see "Borat" now. See it before Kevin from Accounting or your buddies in the cafeteria make you sick of even hearing about it. Stay ahead of the crowd. If you can, you're in for 80 minutes of gleeful, subversive, outrageous fun.