The Dictator (2012)
|Writers:||Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, David Mandel|
|Released:||Wednesday, May 16, 2012|
|Rating:||Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.|
The film tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. It is inspired by the best selling novel Zabibah and The King by Saddam Hussein.
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The Dictator Theatrical Review
Silly, brainless, raunchy, ridiculous, bizarre, outrageous, inane yet somehow funny, The Dictator, a screwball story that entertains has opened in movie houses across America. If you have seen Sacha Baron Cohen's films Bruno, Ali G and Borat and like his tongue in cheek comedy that embarrasses, humiliates, disgraces and ridicules, then this newest outing should charm you all over again.
In this whimsical story we find the Supreme Leader Aladeen of the country Wadiya going through his everyday challenges like the Wadiyan Games, dealing with human affairs, overseeing the building of atomic missiles, competing in Wadiya's "Next Top Model" and ordering the deaths of people that disagree with him. We are treated to his history from the birth to his takeover of the small Mid-Eastern oil rich country.
On this occasion Aladeen has to go before the United Nations to declare his country a democracy. He travels to the United States with his body double, which he always does for safety from those who would harm him. After arriving at his hotel, he gets kidnapped and disfigured by cutting away his beard, the one thing that truly identifies him, and ends up lost in Brooklyn (and that's just the beginning).
The film goes on with a lot of sight gags, slap stick comedy and embarrassing moments that are Cohen's trademarks. This kind of comedy has been around for years from Laurel and Hardy to The Three Stooges, but no one does it like Cohen. His ability to make his silly antics popular with his most successful film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan has spurned a cult hero, but with The Dictator however he goes out on a limb with a new character that incredibly looks, acts, and performs like a amalgam of all three of his previous roles.
Unfortunately with The Dictator, the film looses it's magic within the first fifteen minutes after it begins. Much like Cohen's film Bruno, the silliness that provides personality to his character Aladeen gets old quickly and really never recovers. Here you'll get a lot of opportunity for laughter in the beginning as we are treated to the novelty of the funny leader who controls a country in utopian fashion. But beyond this, there's not much more to the film that's unpredictable.
Could it be that Cohen's humor has run the gamut and has lost its luster? Lets take a look at his serious side. Take his character in Hugo, a security agent who keeps the riff raff away from the people and businesses at a Paris railroad station. I loved his character and commend him for the acting ability that's probably his future. Cohen's ability to perform seems to be wasted on pursuing The Dictator kind of comedy that becomes old far too quickly, reason perhaps as to why he waits years before producing another.
Keeping in tune with his other films The Dictator has been rated R by the MPAA for strong crude and sexual content, brief male nudity, language and some violent images.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A nutty comedic film that entertains at an adult level. (C )
-- John Delia
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