Curtailing the documentary style format that allowed for an interaction with non-actors, Sacha Baron Cohen is somewhat more restrained in this conventionally made, but no less hilarious comedy. Probably his broadest film to date, here he plays a guy more akin to a Will Ferrell character than Bruno or Borat. A bit of a bollocks, he's somehow still likeable.
Cohen is General Aladeen of the fictitious African nation of Waadeya. Ruling with an iron fist, he is blatantly developing weapons of mass destruction and is subsequently summoned to New York to address the UN. When he's screwed over by his right hand man Tamir (an underused Kingsely) and replaced with a clueless lookalike while in Manhattan, he must figure out a way of returning to his illustrious role before he speaks to the world via the UN. Along the way he meets the liberal Zoey, played by Anna Faris (looking scarily like Elijah Wood), and an unlikely romance soon blossoms.
The Dictator is very very silly, and actually borders on slapstick a couple of times. But Cohen was smart; he knew that there's no way a character like this can work if he's not utterly ridiculous. Plus, you can get away with an awful lot more when your ostensibly evil lead is thicker than a drunken Rihanna tweet. The plot that surrounds him is simplistic and set-up purely for laughs, which isn’t a problem when said laughs come consistently - which they do. There is rarely a lull and the vast majority of the jokes hit, and hit hard.
Whether or not the switch back to a conventional style of execution for Cohen and director Charles (he's behind Bruno and Borat too) was going to work was always going to be questionable, but they approached this touchy subject matter with exactly the right idea - to completely and utterly take the piss. There are genuinely sharp moments in the script too, with a speech towards the end, while hardly rousing, making its point without sidetracking the humour that preceded it.
Ballsy and frequently hilarious. Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles have produced another winner here.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 09:00 | Monday 14th May 2012 | Movie Review
Excellent movie! Utterly hilarious!Posted 17:35 | Thu 17th May 2012
Opening with a dedication to the late Kim Jong-Il, you know where you're heading with Sacha Baron Cohen's latest cinematic funnyman. Whereas Borat and Bruno relied more on genuine reactions from unsuspecting people and some scripted moments, The Dictator is a different affair. It's a fully-scripted film set around dictator Aladeen of the fictional Middle Eastern country of Wadiya. When the UN threatens sanctions against Wadiya, Aladeen travels to the UN in New York where he gets involved with a goofy plot involving an Aladeen double and a spirited American woman who helps him to adapt to the quirks of American life. Aladeen is so helplessly dopey that he never really comes across as a menace - more of a loveable rogue if anything. There are some genuinely funny moments in the film - e.g. the helicopter sequence but some of the more risque jokes lend themselves to chuckles rather than laughs. There are also some odd celebrity cameos that are too brief and look out of place. Cohen's routine of making fun of America is getting a bit too familiar by now. Maybe he should think about a change of scenery - how about a stiff-upper-lipped Englishman lost in the south of France? For now though, The Dictator is an amusing if not quite memorable effort. I guess Borat is hard to top.Posted 21:59 | Thu 17th May 2012
was ok, would not recommended, wait for dvd.Posted 21:56 | Sun 20th May 2012
this movie is so funny!!!Posted 23:07 | Sun 20th May 2012
The Dictator was a pretty enjoyable film, less crude than Baron Cohen's previous offerings. If you like Sacha Baron Cohen's films, you will probably also like this. However, many will find this film quite predictable and jaded. There are no real surprises with the 'humour' in The Dictator, which makes the jokes all the more blunt and bland. Please surprise us with your next film Mr. Cohen!Posted 10:21 | Tue 22nd May 2012
This was absolutely terrible. If you liked this then you have the iq of a monkey. There are two funny moments in its 83 minutes. Just awful.Posted 15:24 | Tue 29th May 2012
I thought it was poor enough really . A couple of funny bits ,but too few and far between . I would get it a missPosted 13:25 | Sat 9th Jun 2012
If you liked his recent movies, you'd know what to be expecting!! I thought it was funny enough.. :)Posted 15:52 | Sat 9th Jun 2012
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