"Borat," the mockumentary style film from Sacha Baron Cohen, will have you rolling in the aisles at times, but for the most part, you've seen just as good and laughed just as hard at some amateur videos posted on YouTube.
And they're free.
The beauty of YouTube is with a limit of just 100 mb per video file, you're never subjected to concept art that runs too long. They're always just the right length. You're in and then you're out.
Sadly, "Borat" falls squarely in the middle of that long-suffering critic's cliché: It's like an "SNL" sketch that runs too long.
Cohen plays an at times hilarious politically incorrect Kazakh reporter who visits "the U.S. and A." to make a documentary about American culture.
Borat is as ridiculous as the subjects he decides to humiliate in this intentional commentary about some of our country's "ugly Americans," who we all know exist. It is not always clear whether his subjects are in on the gags.
Regardless, America haters will love how Cohen uses Michael Moore-type scenarios to get his point across.
I mean, being picked up by a few racist, women-hating frat boys who long for slavery to be brought back while partying cross-country in a booze-filled RV will conjure some audible gasps from the audience.
Along Borat's journey across the nation, he encounters a prostitute with a heart of gold, a rodeo audience appalled by his rendition of the national anthem and a group of way over-the-top Christians who speak in tongues and preach about Jesus.
For a minute I thought I was watching the preaching scene in "Coming to America," waiting for the minister to introduce Eddie Murphy as singer Sexual Chocolate.
But by the time Cohen's Borat tries to abduct an unwitting Pamela Anderson — the subject of his obsession after becoming transfixed by an episode of "Baywatch" — at a Virgin Megastore book signing, you'll find yourself rooting for the security guards to bodyslam the comic artist even harder then they do.
Meanwhile, a terrified Anderson is high-tailing it from the scene.
It seems with "Borat," Cohen is trying to capitalize on the audience that made "Jackass: Number Two" a box-office smash. He defecates in a sandwich bag and presents it to his dinner party host; he enjoys nude wrestling with Azamat (Ken Davitian) — an overweight and really hairy documentary cinematographer whom he joins in a naked streak through a hotel convention; and he makes various attempts at kissing male strangers on the streets of New York, where he's mostly greeted with a "Get the f—- outta my face."
Keeping it Reel?
If you want to enjoy good clean laughs this weekend, go see "Flushed Away," from the creators of "Wallace and Grommit" and starring Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet and Sir Ian McKellan.
But if you have a sick sense of humor, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" is for you.