The Dictator

The Dictator

I’ve been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen ever since his Ali G character hit the 11 o’clock show on Channel 4.

Despite the fact Ali G was quoted left, right and centre, it was hard not to admire the man for asking people such as Lord Hindlip like “why did Van Goth chop his nob off?”

Skip forward 15 odd years, the man has become a somewhat controversial comic powerhouse and while the likes of Borat and Bruno have seen him hit the headlines, these roles have also enabled him to be placed next to the likes of Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights) and Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd).

Despite its subject matter, The Dictator is not nearly as controversial as his previous efforts and in terms of it’s tone, it probably has most in common with Cohen’s first cinematic effort, Ali G The Movie.

Playing General Aladeen, the leader of the fictional country of Wadiya, The Dictator does its very best to lampoon the likes of Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussain and Gaddafi.

We see him taking part in his own Olympic Games, executing everyone who disagrees with him and in one sequence, paying  Megan Fox to sleep with him.

In an effort to install some democracy to Wadiya, Aladeen is replaced by a clueless double and finds himself dumped in the middle of New York, without his trademark beard and completely unrecognisable.

Help comes in the shape of Anna Faris’ Zoey, a pro-democracy activist and manager of an alternative lifestyle co-op.

Unlike Borat and Bruno, the humour appears to be mostly scripted and there appears to be very little improv on display and while The Dictator may lack the edge of those films, it does have plenty of satire on display.

Ultimately, The Dictator is a solid enough comedy. One or two scenes may misfire with the humour, but for the most part the pace keeps flowing very nicely.

And with some reliable comedy support from the likes of Anna Faris, Sir Ben Kingsley, Jason Mantzoukas and John C Reilly, there are worse ways to spend 2 hours of your life.

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.