The Dictator

The Dictator

Starring; Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Sir Ben Kingsley, Megan Fox and Edward Norton.

Director: Larry Charles

Sacha Baron Cohen stars in his fourth film as The Dictator. Since 2002, we have seen Cohen in the characters of Ali G, Borat, Bruno and this sees another lead performance for this comedic impersonator as Admiral General Aladeen. Larry Charles is in the dictator’s chair once again following his collaboration with Cohen in Borat and Bruno.

The west wants democracy in Aladeen’s homeland Wadiya, however before he can go before the other world leaders he is abducted by John C Reilly.  The undercover security guard removes his beard and tries to perform torturous acts upon Aladeen. Unsurprisingly, Aladeen escapes and is left unrecognisable in New York City. His enemy, Sir Ben Kingsley, has already set the wheels in motion for democracy as he has secretly arranged to divide up Wadiya’s oil for a large percentage of its worth. He seeks out a double to sign the papers and teaches him all the ways of Aladeen behind the scenes. Aladeen finally finds a new name (Alison Burgers) and work in a local organic food shop under the weird and wonderful owner Zoey (Anna Faris), whose hairy armpits and dress sense repulse him at first, but he soon learns that they have more in common than he would care to admit.

This film has two or three moments of comic genius, particularly a reference to 911 in a helicopter tourist scene and a montage with the song ‘a moment like this’ in the background, while Aladeen experiences his first self gratification. It offers all the cringe worthy moments of his previous films, such as an impromptu hand touch inside a woman‘s womb. The guest appearances of Megan Fox and Edward Norton are wasted, as they fail to bring in the laughs. Cohen’ s comments are just as near the knuckle as they have always been, so not for the easily offended. It certainly is more consistent in its laughs than Bruno was, however, perhaps the shock tactics go a little too far in some cases and don’t get the desired affect.

I was touched by some of the scenes between Cohen and the likes of Faris, which were missing from his previous films. This is however, was closely followed by a crude joke to balance out the sentimentality. If you do see this movie, it would simply be for Cohen’s speech at the end of the film, where he finds synonymy between democracy and dictatorships.

If you liked Borat and Bruno, you will get the same enjoyment from this, however its inconsistency to make me laugh made it a one time viewing for me.

The Dictator is out now.

Lucy Walton

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