Yet another comedy has been added to the “it looked funnier in the trailer…” group of disappointing films. Sadly, the funniest parts of Sasha Baron Cohen’s “The Dictator” were, for the most part, shown in the movie trailers. Just as almost every comedic actor, Cohen has a particular style and type-cast he has gotten himself into, and it’s simply not very funny.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Cohen’s style, his movies also consist of Borat and Bruno. Although he’s starred in others, those are his most familiar films. All three films (Borat, Bruno, and The Dictator) satarize major political and social issues of the present day in a very innappropriate way. The Dictator makes fun of the trouble with the Middle East leaders and their dictatorship over their people and nuclear weapons experimentation.
The plot is about as transparent as a 90’s after-school special. Dictator Aladeen (Sasha Baron Cohen, Borat,) after a life of maniacle supremacy, is called by the UN to meet with them in the United States in order to explain his nuclear weaponry experimentation. While he’s in the US, he is betrayed by one of his men, his beard is cut off, and he is replaced by a body double. Without his trademark beard, nobody recognizes him, and he is forced to work in an extremely tolerant store run by the manager, Zoey (Anna Farris, Scary Movie,) whom he finds himself strangely attracted to. While working there, he sees on the news that the body double, under direction of his sabateur, is planning on bringing democracy to his small country of Wadiya.
I’m sure we can all see where this is going, but it would be of bad taste to ruin the ending for those who still have the pleasure of not yet seeing this movie.
Aside from the few parts I will admit chuckling to, most of this movie was filled with dry racial and sexual humor. I found little to no wit in any of the jokes, and for the most part, I found that they were making racial and sexual jokes just for the sake of making race and sexual jokes. So all in all, it’s worth a chuckle here and there, but for the most part, I didn’t find it worth my time. It was worth paying two dollars to see it once, no more than that.
The Dictator is rated R for strong crude and sexual content (several account of implied sexual acts, and sexual dialogue,) brief male nudity (a man is shown briefly without pants or underwear,) language (several uses of the “F-word,” sexual slang, and scattered profanity,) and some violent images (a man carries a decapitated head, a man is shown being shot in the head, and other violent images relating to gunplay and murder.)